Over the summer the Branch organised their road shows for the Pay up Now and Scrap the Cap campaigns. In September we launched the campaign which saw us in the Civic Centre, Sandhill Centre, Hetton Children’s Centre, Leechmere (SCAS) and Fawcett Street.
These were really successful and it was lovely to see members win from our magic money tree and other activities.
Prize Draw Winners
Quiz Question sheet:
Money Tree Prize Draw
Guess how much money is in the bucket game
Despite having some light hearted fun, there was a serious message relayed, which resulted in a massive turn out from both UNISON and UNITE to lobby the Local Councillors to support our motion to lift the pay freeze on Local Government workers and instruct Central Government to fund this pay claim. This was very successful as all of the Labour and Liberal Democrat Councillors voted to support us. Sadly but not surprising the 6 Conservative Councillors voted to abstain.
However there is still work to do behind the scenes and Sunderland Branch are working with the other Branches in the Region to keep the pressure on the Government to Pay Up Now!
What is Happening Nationally?
The National Joint Council (the negotiating body for pay in Local Government) Employers Side is meeting on 18 October to take stock of their regional consultation. They have informed us that they want to wait for the Autumn Statement, due on 22 November before they respond to our claim and the pay spine review. We are not likely to get a formal pay offer from them until early December.
We had hoped that we would get the final pay offer earlier this year, which was why we lodged our claim in May. However, while the Local Government Association has done a lot of work to make finance officers and others aware that councils will need to budget for more than 1% this year, they want to see what the Autumn Statement says before an offer is made.
Let’s make sure our debate counts
A thank you statement from UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis.