Union rejects “insulting” 1.5% pay increase offer for council social workers

The largest union representing social workers says the offer “shows complete disregard” for all staff have done during pandemic.

24/05/21

Union rejects “insulting” 1.5% pay increase offer for council social workers

A 1.5% pay offer made by the Local Government Association to council and school support staff – including social workers – has been resoundingly rejected by UNISON, the union has announced.

At an earlier meeting of the union’s local government committee, representatives of council and school workers from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland dismissed the offer as ‘insulting’.

The committee said the amount offered by the employers fell well short of the 10% claim submitted by the unions earlier in the year.

The 10% pay increase was recommended in a joint claim by GMB, Unite and UNISON to employers in February for council staff to be payable from 1 April 2021.

The union – which represents more than 40,000 social workers – said council and school workers felt the response offer of 1.5% was “derisory” and “showed a complete disregard for all staff had done during the pandemic to keep essential services running and communities safe.”

Jon Richards, UNISON head of local government, said that the pay increase they recommended would help the workforce to feel more valued than it currently does.

“This offer simply isn’t good enough,” Richards said, adding: “Council and school staff have done so much this past year. They’re understandably feeling more than taken for granted. It’s insulting.”

“Negotiations with the employers are now essential if council and school staff are to get a better deal. More resources from Westminster would help relieve the financial pressure on councils and schools and fund a more substantial increase for staff.”

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