We have learnt that the National Joint Council (NJC) Unions have set out their agenda for the forthcoming pay talks.
They make the point that there is a crisis in local government funding with local authorities finding a combined funding gap of several billions of pounds. However, the Unions are campaigning hard for the Westminster Government to address this for councils and pay needs to be considered in this context. The Unions have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, previously calling on him to fully fund local government pay rises, and they will continue to put the pressure on him.
The Unions are due to put their claim to the National Employers later this month, which will be two months beyond the anniversary date.
The National Employers are aware of the frustration at the length of time it took to conclude the 2021/2 pay negotiations, and are looking to the Unions to avoid another lengthy process this year.
The National Employers have set up consultations to get the views of regional councils to the pay claim. It is expected that these will conclude by the end of June, thus building in a further delay, after which they will respond to the NJC Unions.
Realistically it will be July at the earliest before these are concluded. Further developments will be advised to members.