Magazine article Public Finance

Council Staff Join Teachers in Rejecting 2.45% Pay Offer

Magazine article Public Finance

Council Staff Join Teachers in Rejecting 2.45% Pay Offer

Article excerpt

Union leaders representing 1.4 million council workers moved closer to following 200,000 teachers on to the picket lines this week, putting renewed pressure on Gordon Brown as he restated his determination to hold down public sector pay.

The GMB, Unison and Unite unions expressed disappointment at the local government employers' April 2 offer of a 2.45% rise for most staff, with 3% for those on the bottom three points of the pay scale.

Unison head of local government Heather Wakefield said: 'The value of local government workers' wages is falling while the cost of essentials is spiralling.

'Even with the bottom-loading, the lowest pay rate in local government will still be less than Tesco's.'

But Brian Baldwin, chair of the employers' side, said: 'This final offer is fair, affordable and consistent with the government's current public sector pay policy.'

At an April 1 press conference, the prime minister reiterated that the government was 'looking for public sector pay settlements that are in line with the inflation needs of the country'. …

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