Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's great to be appreciated!

I can't remember ever getting an above inflation pay rise since I have been in social work. Last year with inflation running at 4.5% and petrol and energy bills going up every day I was one of the Unison members who went on strike for two days as our pay offer of 2.45% seemed derisory. I'd like to say it was worth it, but the eventual extra 0.3% (which took 11 months to agree)tells its own story. It got me an additional £80 before tax. That's per year -not per week.

And so to the new pay negotiations.

The following is word for word of the message all staff received on Thursday.

Pay 0ffer for 2009/10

You may have already seen in the press information about the pay offer made to local government employees from 1st April 2009 – this message aims to share with you details of that pay offer and the Unions’ position.

There are two important parts of the offer:

The offer is for an increase of 0.50% on all pay points from 1st April 2009

The offer will remain on the table until 1st June. If a negotiated settlement has not been achieved by that date then the offer will be withdrawn and employees will not receive an increase in 2009/10.

These are very difficult times for everybody - local authorities, local government workers and council tax payers. The offer is being made in circumstances where:

• RPI is 0% and likely to be a minus figure in the months ahead

• Companies across the country are going out of business and people are losing their jobs

• Many employees in the private sector are having their pay frozen this year and some have agreed pay cuts to protect jobs

• Local authority finances are stretched to the limit. The recession is increasing demand on our services and reducing our income.

Because of these difficult circumstances the employers had to weigh up very carefully whether any offer at all should be made. But in the end they have decided that an offer of 0.50% is fair recognition of the important work being done by our employees.

Nobody wants a repetition of the long pay negotiations of the last few years so the employers have told the trade unions that the offer will remain on the table until 1 June. If a negotiated agreement has not been achieved by that date then the offer will be withdrawn. If the offer is withdrawn then there would be no pay increase for 2009/10.

0.5% is a fair recognition of the important work being done by us!!! A lesson in how to motivate one's work force don't you think?!?


Rodders said...

I'm one of those idiots who also tok strike action last time. 'Idiot' because I stuck to my principles & even though I can't afford to lose any money I will always support a strike, even if I don't support it, if you know what I mean. And I'm proud to say I've never ever crossed a picket line in my life.
But that last pay strike was supposedly voted for by a majority, which made it democratic. But it was only a majority of union memebers who bothered to vote. As a percentage of the actual membership in total only 18% voted in favour. As a result lots of people ignored the strike call, but still got the pay award. So all the scabby, greedy bastards get the same as me, without the loss of the money. I really do HATE some of the bastards I work with!

Anonymous said...

JJ and Rodders, I feel your pain! I was in that situation for all the years I worked in the public sector. Happily, I now work for a wealthy organisation that does not recognise trade unions for collective bargaining purposes. Consequently, I have been awarded a performance related pay rise of 2.5%, having been "a fully effective contributor", natch. Every situation has its ironies ...
Yours in struggle

Jay said...

Absolutely! It's time all management realised that you don't get the best out of your workforce if you don't give them fair reward and a good working environment. And it's also time they realised that you don't get more than the bare minimum from people if you try to manage by bully-boy tactics.

J.J said...

I know just how you feel Rodders- grrrrrrr!

Messalina- irony indeed. The next drink is on you!

Jay - well said,and very true.

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

I just love the irony that there are all these claims that the public sector is so well funded and safe in its employment.... Yeah: your pay offer and the mess arising from the efforts to supposedly remove unequal pay have both shown singular success. And that's before you take account of the job losses imposed thanks to Icelandic bank FUBARs and short-falls in local revenue... Way to go Public Sector for rewarding people so well (NOT).

Empathies to all affected.

JoeinVegas said...

In our town all cost of living and other raises have been suspended, so I will not even be getting that 0.50%

J.J said...

Lisa - empathy gratefully received - thank

Joe, and sympathy sent to a fellow sufferer.