In 2010 the Government declared a three year pay freeze for all public sector workers, but said that those on less than £21,000 workers (67% of workers in local government) would get £250.
Even that little promise has not been kept. Now, for the second year running, local government workers are to have a total pay freeze.
Unison, the main local government union, says it is launching a campaign to make Osborne deliver on his promise to the low-paid in local government, schools and colleges.
But in fact Unison leaders effectively gave up months ago. Back in October Unison put in a pay claim for £250 on all spinal column points. To meet the government’s commitment (i.e. to remedy the failure to meet this commitment last year and this) would have a required a claim of at least £500. Unions always put in a higher claim than they usually end up accepting. A £250 annual claim looks like effectively accepting a pay freeze.
A weak pay claim alongside a weak campaign to save jobs and services signals that the leadership has no confidence that we can win.