The NJC joint TU Executive met on 15th August and are now able to give an update on the position for NJC pay. UNISON Executive Reps then met with Unite and GMB and the three unions stated their respective positions and discussed potential next steps.

Unite reported that they now have a mandate for action in 24 places. Of these, some cover full councils and others are just for individual departments within a council. You may have seen a press release from them last week stating that at that point, they had 17 mandates covering less than 3000 members in total. We are aware that in some places Unite have incorporated their Red Book (Craft) members into their Green Book (NJC) ballot, and so the numbers of Green Book members covered by a strike mandate will be smaller.

GMB reported that they are still intending to run an industrial action ballot, mostly in schools, from 12th September to late October. The earliest possible date they could take industrial action would be 9th November.

UNISON’s Exec reported our committee’s clear position that it did not feel we had a mandate to take effective national action that could improve the pay offer, and that it didn’t want to take small, isolated groups of members out on strike on behalf of large groups of members that didn’t meet the threshold. Our position was therefore that members wanted and needed the money in their pockets as soon as possible, and that we wanted to move forward to submitting a claim for 2024 and building on the improved participation this year in an even stronger 2024 pay campaign.

Following a discussion between the unions, agreement has been reached to:

a)   Write to the Employers’ Side to ask for an improved offer; and in the meantime / pending a response,

b)   Convene a meeting of the full Trade Union Side to make a decision on 2023 pay (this meeting will take place online)

Both of these elements are currently being worked on with the intention to minimise further delays.

UNISON will be sending a bulk email next week to all members on NJC pay to update them with the position.