Welsh council workers: pay offer is real terms pay cut

UNISON’s Lianne Dallimore

Welsh council workers are angry their employers have increased a meagre pay offer by just 0.25 per cent, to 1.75 per cent, still significantly below the rate of inflation.

School support staff, carers, refuse workers, cleaners, librarians, highways maintenance workers and many more, have been waiting for a pay rise, due on 1 April and public services union, UNISON Cymru Wales, labelled the pay offer a real terms pay cut.

It says years of pay freezes and pay caps driven by Westminster have left local government staff more than 20 per cent poorer than in 2010.

The rates of pay and employment conditions of council workers are negotiated at a UK national level (excluding Scotland).

UNISON says council employers have told the union they don’t have the money to give their workforce the pay rise they deserve or to invest in rebuilding vital public services.

UNISON wants the employers’ body, the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) to join trades unions to campaign for additional funds from the UK government to finance the wage rise.

Lianne Dallimore, chair of UNISON Cymru Wales local government committee, said,

“A below inflation pay offer is no good to workers who are 20 per cent poorer than a decade ago as a direct result of UK government severe spending cuts.

“Local government staff have kept vital services like adult social care, school hubs and refuse collection going throughout the pandemic. We deserve more.

“Welsh council employers told us they want to recognise our contribution but don’t have the money, well, work with us to secure extra cash from Westminster which can be invested in staff and front-line services.”

Notes for editors:

  • The pay deal is for staff working in Wales, England and Northern Ireland.
  • From 2010, council workers faced eight years of UK government-imposed pay restraint, with wages either frozen or held to a 1 per cent pay increase. A 2-year deal in 2019/20 delivered a 2 per cent increase for both years.
  • The unions submitted a pay claim for 2021 of 10 per cent



Alastair Gittins, UNISON Cymru Wales press officer on 07816 53 83 97