The Waltham Forest UNISON Branch Committee met last week and agreed to recommend to our members to reject the pay offer.
The Committee’s view is that:
- The pay offer comes nowhere near to our members’ aspirations. It offers precious little as an improvement from the original 1% employer’s offer.
- The offer is only payable from January 2015 instead of April 2014, which is an unacceptable change to our usual collective bargaining position.
- The offer, if accepted, means that we would not be able to make a further claim for a pay rise until April 2016.
- The better offer for low paid staff is ineffective for Waltham Forest Council UNISON members where our lowest paid staff are on the London Living Wage. If the increase applicable to their grade does not take them above the London Living Wage, then they will receive no salary increase and will receive only the unconsolidated one-off payments.
- The pay offer is so poor that the national negotiators should have dismissed it and continued with the planned industrial action.
We therefore urge you to vote to reject the offer if you have not cast your vote in our branch ballot.
However, we do need to tell you that rejecting the offer will mean that we have to take further industrial action to win any real improvements.
The Branch Committee feels that our members are suffering pay cuts, job insecurity and more stress at work. These issues will only be addressed to our members’ advantage if we make a stand. This government has made it clear that the public sector pay restraint will continue for years to come. Even if they lose the election in 2015 the other major parties have already said that they will continue to make public sector cuts and restrain public sector pay.
We would also like to remind members that Waltham Forest Council has increased the pay of the Chief Executive by over 8% and has reduced the pay of many of our members through the terms and conditions review in 2012.
So, please vote to reject and help our union fight for a fair and just pay increase that at least begins to make up ground on the 18% average wage reduction that we have all suffered (more for many members on lower grades in Waltham Forest).
Whatever your view though, please make sure you vote. We want all our members to express their opinion so that whatever the result our members would all have contributed.
If you know any members who have not received a branch pay ballot form or you have not received one yourself, then please contact the branch office.
Remember, the ballot closes at 12 noon on Thursday 13th November 2014.