Council Pay and Cost of Living

The financial case for a pay rise

The media is regularly talking about the cost of living crisis and, as consumers, we can see this clearly in price increases in shops, petrol stations, energy bills etc.  However, whilst we know everyday costs are rising, we don’t have a clear picture of what this means to our wages and therefore our purchasing power.  Nor can we see clearly what a pay rise may mean for us in this context, in both immediate and longer runs. 

The straightforward logic says that if inflation is at 11.7% then anything lower than this is a pay cut.  Certainly, the paltry 2% offer from CoSLA looks very much like a pay cut but we feel that some hard numbers are required to support this notion.

In an attempt to get a better understanding of this problem we looked at a sample of jobs in the City of Edinburgh Council that pay less than £25,000 per annum for a 36 hour working week.  We used the current pay (defined by the CEC pay and grading structure April 2021) as a baseline.  Grades 2 and 3 used pay at the top of the grade, for grades 4 and 5 the mid-point was selected. Pay used in this analysis is that before deductions. Table 1 below shows the current grade and full-time (i.e.36hrs) pay for each of the identified council roles.

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Pay claim proposals—local authority newsletter

In the recent pay survey, Unite members gave the below proposals for the forthcoming pay claim.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Unite believes that councils, elected representatives and communities can see the value of local government workers and the importance of rewarding them appropriately for their commitment before and during the pandemic.

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Covid-19: Unite CEC branch demands equal treatment for agency, zero-hour contract and arms length organisations’ staff during pandemic

Forcing some workers to rely on statutory sick pay is a risk to all—and deeply unfair

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Unite has requested that the City of Edinburgh Council follow Glasgow City Council’s lead and treats agency, ALEOs and zero hours contract staff equally during COVID-19.

Concerns had been raised by our members, both on permanent and temporary contracts, that a permanent member of staff will be protected financially if they need to self-isolate or shield according to UK government advice. However, the same financial protection is not been offered to temporary and agency staff, creating a financial disincentive for this staff group to exclude themselves from the workplace should they need to. For example, agency staff brought in to cover staff absence, such as in refuse collection, are paid only statutory sick pay (SSP)—£95.85 per week—if they have to self isolate or shield, whereas permanent colleagues are paid their contractual entitlement for sick pay.

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