Care workers, refuse collectors, social workers, teaching assistants, community workers, street cleaners and so many more go above and beyond every single day. Local government staff keep communities safe, clean and accessible, yet there is often little or no recognition for your hard work.

With the cost-of-living skyrocketing to new highs every day, it’s time to rise up and demand decent pay for the work you do.

That’s why we’re asking members in councils and schools to vote YES in our strike ballot.

Note – NJC pay covers council and school workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

UNISON has been campaigning for a decent pay rise for council and school workers.

The Employers Offer

We called for a pay increase of inflation plus 2% – based on the Treasury’s annual forecast for RPI for 2023, this would amount to 12.7%. However, the local government employers have responded with an offer of a flat rate increase of £1,925 (with less for part-time and term-time workers).

So, we’re putting it to you, our members. You are currently being balloted to ask if you wish to take industrial action over pay. Ballot papers were posted out from Tuesday 23 May in England and Wales and need to reach us by the deadline of Tuesday 4 July.

Please look out for the envelope above coming through your door.  VOTE YES! That’s the most important thing you can do right now and as soon as you receive your ballot paper, please vote and post it back straight away. If we don’t have at least 50% of members return a vote, we cannot take action.

If you haven’t received your ballot paper, please contact UNISONdirect’s Ballot Hotline on 0800 0 857 857 – it is open between 5 June and midday 28 June.

If you have lost your ballot paper and need a replacement, you can request a new one until midday 28 June.

We understand that taking action is a big step and may feel overwhelming when you have colleagues and service users who rely on you. It may even feel that it’s something other sectors undertake but not you. But over the past 12 years, council and school staff have lost on average 25% from the value of you pay when measured against the Retail Price Index (RPI) measure of inflation since 2010. Prices and bills are reaching new highs every day and every pound in your pay packet really counts.

Taking action will send a clear message to employers that you need a better pay rise that will actually help during the cost-of-living crisis. You deliver a vital public service that helps everyone in your community – you deserve fair pay for the important work that you do.