Notice for Council, School, South Essex Homes & Southend Care workers – THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT PAY OFFER HAS BEEN ACCEPTED

Graphic reading: "Notice for Council, School, South Essex Homes & Southend Care workers – THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT PAY OFFER HAS BEEN ACCEPTED"

Dear Member,

Please read the PAY UP NOW bulletin : Issue Number 07 below from the national negotiators that details the acceptance of the Local Government Pay Offer.

The key features of the pay offer are:

  • A 16% pay increase for those currently on the lowest scale point (SCP) 6, over two years.
  • A pay increase of between 15% and 4.3% for those on the current SCPs 7 – 28.
  • 4.04% increase over two years, for those above the current SCP 29, including those above SCP 49.
  • A new pay spine from 2019, with new scale points 1-43 and even 2% pay gaps between SCPs 6-28.

I would like to thank everyone involved at branch level in the recent pay consultation. This branch was clear with its ‘we deserve better pay’ message and the outcome of the branch ballot was to reject this offer, with 2/3 of our members voting to reject.

On the second ballot requested by our NJC committee, again there was a clear rejection of this offer by those able to vote. This vote was taken at our AGM on the 27th March.

Thank you to all UNISON members that used their vote in this ballot to Have Your Say.

Also, thank you for those activists and members that engaged in spreading the message from our branch Executive Committee encouraging a rejection of this pay offer on the grounds that it offered only another pay cut and that we should fight for a fairer deal.

Whilst we have lost this particular battle over pay we will continue to fight austerity. Join us and speak up for public services on the 12th May at the national march and rally STEP UP FOR PUBLIC SERVICES – everyone welcome! Later this week, please visit our website for more details and to book your coach seat.

All the best,

Claire Wormald
Branch secretary

6 April 2018

PAY UP NOW bulletin : Issue Number 07

UNISON ACCEPTS NJC PAY OFFER

The UNISON NJC Committee met today to consider branch feedback on its recommendation that UNISON should accept the NJC pay offer for 2018-20. The previous membership consultation resulted in a very narrow overall vote to reject the offer but members in 8 out of 11 Regions had voted to accept it.

The NJC Committee therefore sought further feedback from those branches who had responded to the membership consultation on its recommendation to accept. 79% of branches and 10 out of 11 Regions have now voted to accept the pay offer. This feedback was confirmed in a formal acceptance vote by the NJC Committee.

We will now notify GMB, Unite and the Local Government Association. The NJC Joint Secretaries will be meeting on 12 April to consider the Trade Union Side position. GMB has voted to accept the pay offer but Unite has rejected it. The NJC Committee also agreed an implementation strategy for dealing with the assimilation to the new NJC pay spine, any attempts by employers to undermine or not implement the award, cut conditions or jobs to pay for it or walk away from the NJC. Details of the strategy will be circulated to branches shortly.

Click here for further details.

Have Your Say – Vote on Pay – Return Ballot Papers by 8th March

Call for School workers and Local Government workers including South Essex Homes and Southend Care to return ballot papers by 8th March either via the Southend branch office or by using the prepaid envelope.

PAY BALLOT CLOSES TODAY – For your vote to count, hand deliver your ballot paper to the Branch Office today!

Social media announcement graphic reading "Have Your Say – Vote on Pay" and asking members to return ballot papers by the 8th March 2018.

If you have not received a ballot paper please contact the Southend branch office ASAP.

The national pay offer from your employer is under consultation – for the majority of local government workers including those at Southend Borough Council, it means just a 2% pay increase – another below-inflation pay offer. Wages in local government have risen by just 4.4% since 2010 compared to a 22% rise in the cost of living – we deserve better!

The recommendation from UNISON Southend-on-Sea branch and the National Joint Council (NJC) is to REJECT this offer because for the majority it represents another unfair pay cut.

We want you to have your say, so please USE YOUR VOTE today.

Whatever you think of the pay offer, whether you want to accept or reject it, we ask you to Have Your Say and Vote on Pay – the outcome of this pay offer is in your hands.


For more information, please attend the following events:

5th March 5.00 – 5.45 pm
Pay Meeting – Committee Room 6, Civic Centre, Southend Borough Council

6th March 12.15 – 2.00 pm
UNISON Pay Up Now! Stall – Reception Area, Civic Centre, Southend Borough Council

… or contact the UNISON Southend-on-Sea branch and invite us to your workplace.


Please also download this Member’s Briefing that explains in more detail the offer and the reasons why the recommendation is to REJECT this offer, and visit the following link for further details about  the Pay Up Now! campaign for Council and School Workers.

UNISON Southend-on-Sea members and Save Our Southend NHS campaigners joined over 60,000 people at the NHS IN CRISIS – FIX IT NOW! demonstration in London.

UNISON Southend-on-Sea members and Save Our Southend NHS campaigners at the NHS IN CRISIS – FIX IT NOW! demonstration in London | Photograph by Paul Stygal

On Saturday 3rd February a large Southend contingent marched with over 60,000 people on the NHS IN CRISIS – FIX IT NOW! demonstration to challenge Jeremy Hunt’s ongoing deadly plans for the NHS.

UNISON members joined other unions, health workers, patients and activists calling for the NHS to be properly funded. Speakers reported on how united the country was in defence of the NHS and explained that it was privatisation and funding cuts creating the crisis in our NHS and not migrants or inefficient NHS workers.

Both demonstrators and speakers called for the complete re-nationalisation of our NHS, echoing the pledge from the Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health – Jon Ashworth. Among speeches by politicians and health campaigners, a nurse said that it had been calculated that around 120,000 deaths can be attributed to the cuts in NHS funding. Additionally, Nicola Romero spoke of how her daughter, Becky, died due to a lack of NHS resources. Mrs Romero’s emotional speech is available to watch here.

People everywhere vowed that the fight for the NHS will not stop until it is properly funded. As we marched in London, other protests were being held up and down the country including Middlesbrough, Warrington, Macclesfield, Stafford, Worcester and Kidderminster – a real message of support for our NHS and solidarity with all its workers.


We need to keep up the fight for our NHS

Nationally: Another demo has been called for the 30th June (on our NHS’s 70th birthday) – so put it in your diary now!

Locally: We need to keep fighting the Mid and South Essex STPs (Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships) which are trying to downgrade Southend Hospital and move services to Chelmsford or Basildon – all part of proposed cuts of £30 million in Southend alone. These plans have been described by NHS Consultants as dangerous, unsustainable and will put lives at risk. We need your support to save our local NHS services. For more information and to see how you can help Save Our Southend NHS from STPs, privatisation and cuts please visit the campaign Facebook page.


Watch/read more about the NHS IN CRISIS – FIX IT NOW! demonstration:

Video report by ITV News correspondent Ronke Phillips.
Article on the UNISON National website.
Article in Socialist Worker.
Article in The Guardian.
Photos by Paul Stygal.

Save Our Southend NHS – March and Rally, Saturday 27th January.

UNISON Southend-on-Sea members joined hundreds of Save Our Southend NHS supporters on Saturday 27th January. Protesters gathered at Pier Hill and then marched up the High Street to hear a number of passionate speeches against the proposed Mid and South Essex STPs (Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships), and NHS cuts, closures and privatisation.

Photograph of Save Our NHS Southend campaigners at Pier Hill, Southend-on-Sea.

To find out more and to help Save Our Southend NHS from STPs, privatisation and cuts please visit the campaign Facebook page.


Save Our Southend NHS march and rally in pictures.

Film: Mike Smith | Photographs: Tim Fransen

Join the Save Our Southend NHS march and rally on Saturday 27 January at 12pm. Assemble at Pier Hill, Southend-on-Sea

Image of Save Our NHS Southend flyer for march and rally on Saturday 27 January 2018. Assemble at 12pm at Pier Hill, Southend-on-Sea.

Join the Save Our Southend NHS march and rally on Saturday 27 January at 12pm. Assemble at Pier Hill, Southend-on-Sea.

Unite with fellow NHS lovers and say NO to £30 million annual cuts to our local hospital and NO to the STP (sustainability and transformation partnership) which will reduce vital services for our local residents!

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Fair Pay Now! Lobby at Civic Centre, Southend Borough Council – Thursday 14th December

Photograph of UNISON Southend-on-Sea members at Fair Pay Now! Lobby before the full meeting of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council – Thursday 14th December.
UNISON Southend-on-Sea members at Fair Pay Now! Lobby before the full meeting of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council on Thursday 14th December.

On Thursday 14th December UNISON members handed a letter to councillors and asked them to support a motion on fair pay at the full meeting of Southend Borough Council. This motion called for action from our councillors including ‘lobbying’ the Government to release funds to enable a long overdue pay rise of 5% or more for staff in local government and schools. UNISON members also delivered a Christmas card to local councillors signed by the people of Southend demanding an end to Scrooge-like pay rises.

UNISON Fair Pay Now! Lobby in pictures.

Scan of letter to councillors asking them to support a motion on fair pay at the full meeting of Southend Borough Council.
Letter to councillors asking them to support a motion on fair pay at the full meeting of Southend Borough Council.

Fair Pay Now! Protest Day at the Civic Centre, Southend Borough Council.

Photograph of Sam Adams (LGBT Officer), Claire Wormald (Branch Secretary) and June Dillow (Women's and Equalities Officer) on ‘Pay Up Now!’ protest at the Civic Centre, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.
Sam Adams (LGBT Officer), Claire Wormald (Branch Secretary) and June Dillow (Women’s and Equalities Officer) on Pay Up Now! Protest at the Civic Centre, Southend Borough Council.

Southend Borough Council UNISON activists supported a ‘Pay Up For Council and School Workers Now!’ Protest by asking people to sign Christmas cards to local councillors demanding an end to Scrooge-like pay rises.

Photograph of Pay Up Now! Christmas card to local councillors demanding an end to Scrooge-like pay rises at a protest at the Civic Centre, Southend Borough Council.
UNISON’s Pay Up Now! Christmas cards to local councillors demanding an end to Scrooge-like pay rises at a protest at the Civic Centre, Southend Borough Council.
Image of supportive messages in Christmas card to local councillors demanding an end to Scrooge-like pay rises.
Example of supportive messages in Christmas cards to local councillors demanding an end to Scrooge-like pay rises.

We are calling on our councillors to support our UNISON members by backing a motion on fair pay at the next full Council meeting on the 14th December. This motion calls for action from our councillors including ‘lobbying’ the Government to release funds to enable a long overdue pay rise of 5% or more.

Council workers, school workers and the public sent a clear message to the councillors calling for them to stand up for a fair pay rise.

Image of handwritten message to local councillors and the Government which reads ‘Don’t leave us singing for our supper at Christmastime. Make 2018 a Happy New Year for Everyone!’
‘Don’t leave us singing for our supper at Christmastime. Make 2018 a Happy New Year for Everyone!’ is a real message both our councillors and the Government needs to hear.

Since 2010 the cost of living has risen by 22.6% whilst our pay has only risen by 4.45% which equates, for example, to a £4,000 pay cut on a £20,000 wage. This means some of us are now seeking benefit support or support from food banks – singing for our supper is a reality for an increasing number of our members.

Since June 2010, local government has lost over 750,000 jobs nationally, locally we have lost near a quarter of our workforce as we see local government funding being slashed by 40%. Our members left behind face increased workloads, pressure and stress – on top of shrinking pay packets. As a result, local services and those reliant upon them suffer. This is not fair to workers or the public in Southend.

In the future, the rate of inflation is predicted to remain above 3% for the next 5 years – this means the cost of living will rise by 18% by 2021 – another pay offer below the rate of inflation would effectively be another pay cut – this is not fair.

The messages and signatures collected today showed what support there is from the public who understand that people who work in our schools and councils provide the vital local services that hold our communities together. We must keep the pressure on and say NO to any SCROOGE-like pay offers which will plunge our members into more misery.

Defend our pay and services by being ready to stand together in Southend and united across the country with other school and council workers in UNISON, GMB and UNITE to fight for a 5% or above fair pay deal.

What you can do to help now: Make sure our councillors back a fair pay deal and join the lobby on the 14th December on the steps of Southend Borough Council, Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue at 5.30pm.

Fair Pay Now! Protest Day in pictures.