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Unison to consult over strike action after 1% raise offer

Unison said it will consult more than 600,000 of its members over industrial action, describing today's 1% pay rise offer to council workers as "meagre."

It is outrageous that the vast majority of local government workers have effectively been offered another pay cut.

Although the long overdue modest rise for the lowest paid workers is welcome, this offer is another slap in the face for the vast majority of local government workers.

Just this week we learned of the scandal of cabinet ministers happily approving pay rises of up to 36% for their own special advisers, while condemning thousands of other public sector workers to poverty pay.

– Heather Wakefield, Unison head of local government


Local authority employers: 1% pay rise is a fair deal

There is a broad consensus among councils that there should be a pay offer to staff this year.

At a time when local government is tackling the biggest cuts in living memory, this offer balances our commitment to increase the pay of our hardworking employees with the responsibility we have to address the significant financial pressures we face.

We believe that this is a fair deal for employees, given the limits of what we can afford, and a fair deal for the taxpayers and residents who use and pay for the vital services which local government provides.

– Sian Timoney, chair of the employers' side

Read: Council workers will be 'dismayed' by 1% pay rise

Council workers will be 'dismayed' by 1% pay rise

The GMB union said council workers will be "dismayed" at being offered another below inflation pay rise.

The extra for the lowest paid is welcome but is worth only a few pence on the hourly rate.

It still leaves the local government workforce as the poor relations of the public sector, and councils can afford more because they are squirrelling away hundreds of millions in reserves.

We will now be consulting GMB members who I expect will say it's not good enough.

– Brian Strutton, national officer of the GMB union

Pay rise 'increases local government paybill by £164m'

Local authority employers said the 1% increase offered to council workers today will increase the local government paybill by more than £164 million.

Read: One million council workers to receive 1% pay rise

Council workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive a 1% pay rise Credit: PA

The offer applies to staff ranging from librarians, refuse collectors and cleaners to social workers and architects, said the employers, who negotiate on behalf of 350 councils.

It does not apply to chief executives, senior officers, teachers or firefighters, who are covered by separate pay arrangements.

The offer follows a similar 1% rise last year, which came after three years of a wage freeze.


Flooding has left 'daunting trail of destruction'

The Local Government Association said that with an existing £10.5 billion repair backlog for highways, the Government's Bellwin Scheme is not adequate funding to cover repairs caused by the severe weather, and local councils have been left with a "daunting trail of destruction."

Read: Flood-hit councils ask Government for emergency cash

The severe weather has left behind a daunting trail of destruction for councils to clear-up and fix.

...While we are pleased the Bellwin Scheme will be activated, the fact remains that Bellwin is severely limited as it does not cover most capital costs.

An emergency highways maintenance fund would provide essential support to those councils who now face hefty and unexpected repair bills as a result of the flooding.

These bills are likely to place significant financial pressures on already stretched council finances and it is vital that local communities are not left to suffer as a result.

– Mike Jones, the LGA's environment and housing board chairman

Flood Recovery Minister Brandon Lewis said "the Government is now fully focused on helping those affected get back on their feet", adding that it was "providing over £3.4 billion in this Parliament and over £5.8 billion in the next for local highways maintenance."

Flood-hit councils ask Government for emergency cash

Councils who are faced with repair bills running into hundreds of millions of pounds in the wake of heavy rain and flooding are calling on the Government for help.

Flood-hit councils Councils are calling on the Government for help. Credit: PA

The Local Government Association wants the Department for Transport to create a highways maintenance emergency fund, similar to the one set up in 2007 following severe flooding, to help affected local authorities with funding for emergency and unforeseeable works to their local roads network.

Read: Royal Marines help rescue stranded cars in Cornish village after UK storms

The LGA said that the Government help plan - the Bellwin Scheme - to assist in times of extreme floods - only goes so far and warned that vital investment in local growth and infrastructure projects could suffer if government does not step in to ease the cost of flood repairs.

Watch: Wakeboarders use flooded car park as playground

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