West Lancashire Borough Council welcomes the discussion about increasing pay for local government staff but is calling on the government to ensure it funds the extra expense it will create for all authorities.
In the first week of December the National Employers for Local Government Services (NELGS) made an offer of a two year pay deal to Council staff. The offer covers the two years from 1 April 2018, and would mean a 2% wage rise next April for the majority of council staff and a further 2% in April 2019, with higher increases for lower paid staff.
The offers are being discussed by unions, who earlier this year asked for a 5% pay rise for local government staff.
In October 2017 West Lancashire Borough Council agreed a motion which noted that National Joint Council (NJC) basic pay has fallen by 21% since 2010 in real terms. NJC workers had a three-year pay freeze from 2010-2012 and NJC pay is the lowest in the public sector.
The motion also stated that this Council:
· Supports the NJC pay claim for 2018, submitted by UNISON, GMB and Unite on behalf of council and school workers and calls for the immediate end of public sector pay restraint. NJC pay cannot be allowed to fall further behind other parts of the public sector.
· Welcomes the joint review of the NJC pay spine to remedy the turbulence caused by bottom-loaded pay settlements.
· Notes the drastic ongoing cuts to local government funding and calls on the Government to provide additional funding to fund a decent pay rise for NJC employees and the pay spine review.
Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said: “West Lancashire Borough Council is always striving to be a good employer and welcomes discussions on improving pay for staff. But like other local authorities across the country we are facing ongoing reductions in government grant funding and other income. Therefore we are asking the government to make sure it funds the extra cost of this pay rise.”