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Earlier today, 24 April, the national local government employers sent GMB and the other TUs their ‘final’ offer for 2013 pay. It is to increase all pay points by 1% and to remove spinal column point 4 (the lowest pay point meaning some 20,000 people would move up to point 5). There are no changes to terms and conditions, that is to say there are no strings. The increase, if accepted, will be applied from 1 April 2013. The next step is that GMB and the other TUs will consider this offer and for GMB I can confirm that we will put it to members to vote whether to accept or reject it and I will send out further details in due course.

You may recall that the earlier negotiations had resulted in an offer of either 1% with some detrimental changes to conditions or a lower value offer without changes. Therefore the progress we have made by continuing negotiations has been to remove the detrimental strings and instead add a small improvement for the very lowest paid.

The offer letter from the national employers is attached and it is worth reading and noting their comments about the future. They allude to trade union reluctance to negotiate and say that they will now instead encourage local employers to seek changes to national terms and conditions (the Green Book). I want to be very clear that GMB has at no point failed to engage in negotiations nor have we given any impression other than our total commitment to national negotiations and national conditions. I want to be equally clear that any attempt by any employers to break any national conditions will be resisted strongly.

Finally, at this stage I just want to say that although I am pleased we have met our primary objective of breaking the pay freeze, it has to be disappointing that the offer is only 1%. I will inform you of the consultative arrangements shortly.

Brian Strutton
National Secretary – Public Services Section

Posted: 24th April 2013

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