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Issue Date:- 7 April 2008


UNIONS representing more than a million local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, expressed disappointment at a revised pay offer of 2.45% for the majority of staff, with 3% for those on the bottom 3 points.  Members of GMB, UNISON and Unite, who include home care workers, teaching assistants, nursery nurses, library staff, park keepers and bin men, have already endured 4 years below inflation pay deals.

Heather Wakefield, UNISON Head of Local Government, said:- “Local Government employers need to wake up to the fact that 2.45% is not a realistic or fair offer.

The value of local government workers’ wages are falling while the cost of essentials such as food, energy and housing are spiraling. 

Even with the bottom loading, the lowest pay rate in local government will still be less than Tesco’s. 

Our members should have had an increase in their pay packets this month.

The employers should come back to the table with a decent offer and allow local government members to get back to their jobs caring for the public and delivering quality public services.

We will be consulting our members on what course of action they want to take at a national meeting next week. ”

GMB National Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:- “GMB is very disappointed with this cheapskate offer.

Those at the top of local government have had 11% pay rises over the past two years, beating RPI, while the rest of local government has had half that.

The hard-working people delivering front-line council services to the public deserve better.

GMB will put this to a national conference of stewards on 24 April 2008 to determine our stance.

Then we will consult our members to see if they want to accept the offer or take strike action.”

Unite the union said it would consult its members on what is considered to be a derisory offer and another pay cut.

“This is the pay policy of the madhouse where public sector pay cuts have had no bearing whatsoever on inflation which is rising not falling,” said Peter Allenson, Unite national organiser for public services.  “However this is dressed up it is yet another pay cut to the low paid workers in local government at a time when a chief executive is appointed with a 46 per cent pay hike and record numbers of senior managers are earning more than the Prime Minister.”

The 2004-2007 pay agreements gave an increase of 11.4% over three years, during which inflation rose by 12.5% and average earnings by 13.4%. The 2007 to 2008 award was for 2.475% and 3% for the lowest paid, inflation was more than 4% over that period.


OVER 60% of 13 to 16 year olds in Merseyside spend the hours of 4pm to 6pm getting bored, according to research by Youth Research Agency Dubit. 80% of local young people regularly spend this after school period in front of the television but 43% wish they were on the television rather than watching it, citing drama as the activity they would most like to do regularly after school.

With 81% of young people in the area stating that they’d like to take part in more after-school activities and wishing their school offered more, the solution to boredom could be closer to hand than expected. Schools are changing and are already proving to be the answer to beating the afternoon blues for young people throughout the country. The research carried out as part of the Department for Children, Schools and Families’, Altogether Better for Children campaign showed that in areas where schools offered some of the best access to activities, fewer young people said they were bored.

Over 10,000 schools in England are offering extra activities and services that you might not expect and by 2010 all schools will offer them. From sports coaching, to after-school clubs and from arts and crafts to enterprise opportunities, schools are becoming the hub of the community.

West End Actress Amy Nuttall, who is supporting the campaign, commented:- “Having the opportunity to take part in extra activities like drama and arts classes can open up a whole new world for young people, inspiring future actors and musicians. I know my love for acting started young and if I hadn’t had the opportunities I did when I was younger I would never be on the West End stage now!”

Beverley Hughes, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families commented:- “The way in which schools are changing makes real sense for the whole community. Research proves that schools offering an extended range of services improve education, social and well-being chances for young people as well as having a positive impact on the whole community.  The Government has committed £1.3bn for extended schools over the next two years and over 10,000 schools are already providing an excellent range of extended services.”

Over 10,000 schools are already proving what a good thing an extended range of services are with a varied menu of activities before and after school from 8am to 6pm. Activities range from homework clubs, sport, music, arts and crafts or other special interest clubs, volunteering or business and enterprise activities all in a safe place.

Graham Holley, Chief Executive of the Training and Development Agency for Schools said:- “Children who take part in stimulating, rewarding activities after school tend to perform better in the classroom. Independent evaluation and Ofsted have shown the positive impact that extended services can have, including improved pupil attendance, confidence, motivation and attainment and reduced exclusion rates. 

I am delighted that this important 10,000 milestone has been reached. It demonstrates that more and more schools are seeing that extended provision is part of their core business and the TDA is supporting them in delivering this.”

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