For all UNISON Members on NJC Pay, Terms & Conditions

15 September: NJC Pay 14 Bulletin Issue No 45

Count down to 14 October Strike!

As you will be aware our second day of industrial action is planned for the 14th October. It is important that we stay united and take further action over the employers insulting ‘offer’ of 1% for most members and slightly more for the lowest paid to keep pay levels just above the National Minimum wage.

We need to send a clear message to the employers that we need a Fair Day′s Pay! One that is in line with price increases.

Leading upto the 14th October your branch will be sending out regular newsletters to keep you up to date as possible.

If you have any questions about the NJC14 Pay Campaign, please do not hesitate in contacting the Joint Branch Secretaries, Joyce M Guthrie & Ian Fleming, at the Northumberland County Branch Of UNISON.

Calculate how much pay you have lost!

As part of our strike building, we want all members to recruit a friend to join UNISON and our campaign. To assist you we have developed a pay calculator for the website. Now everyone can find out how much money they have lost from pay freezes and below inflation pay awards.

We want members to circulate the web link to colleagues so they can see what they have lost – to see why they should join UNISON and our campaign. More on this in next week’s bulletin.

Members FAQ about the strike - updated

We have updated our members’ “frequently asked questions” for the 14 October strike. These will be posted up on the website shortly.

More news...

Academies Ballot opens

The academies ballot is now open and members have been sent voting papers. The ballot will close on 24 September.

The ballot will involve members in as many academies as possible, within a tight timeframe, whose pay is tied to the National Joint Council for Local Government Services (NJC).

National Minimum Wage Increase 1 October 2014

The bottom rate of NJC pay (Scp 5) will increase to £6.50 per hour from 1 October when this becomes new rate for the National Minimum Wage. While this highlights the very sorry state of NJC pay and the reason for our ongoing pay dispute, we pressed the employers to issue a joint circular on this. We wanted to make sure that councils at least fulfil their legal obligations consistently while the three unions continue to work together for an improved offer.

Taking our campaign to the Party Conferences

UNISON, GMB and Unite are holding two fringes at Labour Party Conference in Manchester. The first on 22 September at 12.45pm in the Manchester Central Exchange is on the future of NJC collective bargaining, with Professor Damian Grimshaw of Manchester University. The second on 23 September at 6pm in the Hilton is on a better deal for local government and school workers. Andy Sawford, Shadow Local Government Minister will be the guest speaker.

Watch out for next weeks update...

Joyce M Guthrie / Ian Fleming
Joint Branch Secretaries
The Northumberland County Branch of UNISON.

2014/15 Pay Claim: Dispute Update

A further 1 day Strike has now been agreed by Unison’s NJC Committee to take place on Tuesday 14th October.

Over the next few weeks and leading up to this, it will be critical to put pressure on councillors and MP’s to call on the employers to come back to the negotiating table and talk to us about an improved offer.

As a branch we will be lobbying the Council Leader and Northumberland MP’s to support us and we will keep you informed as we progress with this.

2014/15 Pay Claim: Dispute Ongoing

A big thank you to all our members who took part in the Strike on July 10th.

Well done for all your hard work in making July 10 an overwhelming success. The strength of members feeling over falling pay and pensions was very plain to see.

More than 1 million public sector workers attended picket lines and rallies up and down the country- a large proportion were local government and school workers.

A full round up of regional activity is on the Unison Website at

We are now at a critical point in the NJC pay campaign. To get talks reopened the LGA needs a mandate to do so from each of its political groups – Labour, Lib Dem, Conservative and Independent. We need members to pile on the pressure to get pay talks reopened by writing to or attending the surgeries of local councillors and MPs.

Elected politicians need to know what the impact of falling pay and pensions has had on ordinary people working in councils and schools.

There is a model letter on the campaign web page that may be of use to do this.

2014/15 Pay Claim: Dispute Declared

The employers offered the following pay deal:

  1. 1% Increase on Pay Pont 11 and above.
  2. Between £580 and £175 on points 5 to 10 on a sliding reducing scale.

Our membership rejected this and were asked if they were prepared to take Strike action to try and achieve a better deal.

Our members voted and returned a YES verdict with the following results:

  • Total number of votes cast in the ballot: 85,020
  • Total number answering "Yes" to the above question: 49,836
  • Total number answering "No" to the above question : 35,062

In percentage terms, members taking part in the ballot voted in favour of strike action by 58.7% to 41.3%.

This meant there was a clear majority for strike action so Unison has authorised a one day strike to go ahead on 10 July.

2014/15 Pay Claim: Branch Consultation

The Northumberland County Branch of UNISON has begun consultation with all members on NJC pay rates in regard to the 2014/15 Pay Claim.

You will find the two options as proposed by the UNISON NJC Committee on this website. It also sets out the background analysis.

The Branch have organised a number of workplace visits in order to speak to members about the proposals which you will find listed. We will also be covering other areas throughout the county to drop information off with staff as it is important we consult as widely as possible for next year’s pay claim. If you have a workplace representative within your workplace please do not hesitate in contacting them to discuss.

Please do not hesitate to contact the office on the number above if you require any further information on this issue.

The Living Wage

The living wage is an hourly rate set independently every year. It is calculated according to the cost of living and gives the minimum pay rate required for a worker to provide their family with the essentials of life.

  • In London the 2011/2012 Greater London Authority rate is £8.30 per hour.
  • Outside of London the current rate is £7.20.


The Living Wage website:


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