NJC COMMITTEE AGREED THE WAY FORWARD ON PAY
UNISON’s NJC Committee met on 18 September to review progress in the
negotiations which have followed the two days of action in July over the pay award for 2008/09 and the joint statement with the LGA which followed them.
A number of important decisions were made at the meeting. They are explained in detail
below. The decisions were:
· Not to ask members to take any further industrial action in relation to this year’s pay
· To refer this year’s pay offer to ACAS for binding arbitration.
· To approach this year’s pay offer, any review of the Green Book and pay for 2009/10 separately
· To submit a pay claim to the employers as soon as possible 2009/10
· To agree the Trade Union Side’s aims for any future review of the Green Book.
· To undertake an in-depth review within the NJC Committee of the negotiations and
events surrounding this year’s industrial action and to draw up plans to increase our
bargaining strength at local and national level.
· To hold meetings of the full Joint Trade Union Side of the NJC on 1 October and
Three Joint Secretaries’ meetings have been held since the July action. UNISON and UNITE have consistently pushed the employers to resolve the outstanding pay dispute and this was the first point included in the framework for the negotiations, which was agreed after the second meeting.
Unfortunately the employers claim that there is no pressure on them to increased their final offer of 2.45% and 3.3% for those on scale points 4,5and 6—either from individual local authorities, the
Local Government Association or the Government. The joint Trade Union Side of the NJC
Executive therefore met to take stock of this situation on 10 September and to consider the unions’ aims for any review of the Green Book which might take place in the future. The 2007/8 pay
settlement included such a review.
The Trade Union Side recognised that members need and deserve a pay increase as soon as possible. With no apparent prospect of an improved offer, there was therefore a unanimous decision by all three unions—including the GMB—to recommend to their respective national committees that the matter be referred to the Arbitration and Conciliation Service (ACAS) for binding arbitration. The national agreement—the Green Book— provides for either side of the NJC to do this and we believe that the employers will not stand in our way
NJC Committee's recommendations
The NJC Committee—UNISON’s lay committee—with representatives from each Region,
considered a lengthy report from the negotiators on 18 September and also looked in detail at the results of the consultation on members’ views over further industrial action, which it
requested at its last meeting. With few exceptions, branches responding said that members were not willing to take further action—either ‘all out’ or selective. The Committee therefore decided not to call for further action and to accept the recommendation of the Trade Union Side and seek binding arbitration.