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Local Government Red Book Craft Workers Noticeboard

Latest update for members in Red Book Craft Worker roles across local government

Latest Update on Craftworker Pay 2022/23

Date: 22/04/2022

GMB are moving forward on pay!

We've been consulting our Craftworker members in Local Government, and the results are in. This is what members told us they want to campaign on:

A 10% INCREASE

5% payed in April, 5% payed in October

A 35 HOUR WEEK

No loss of earnings, leave, or benefit.

+1 DAY ANNUAL LEAVE

For members with over 10 years service

+100% INCREASED TOOL ALLOWANCE

The weekly rate (between £3.21-£7.25 depending on profession) has not icreased in line with inflation.

TOOL INSURANCE INCREASE

The cost of maintaining and replacing tools has skyrocketed! Employees should not take a financial hit replacing the tools they need for work.

CSCS TRAINING

For all Red Book Operatives

If that sounds like something you can get behind, welcome to GMB!

Craftworkers are rebuilding this country, getting it back on it's feet after more than a decade of neglect and chaos. To get that job done, they need the right tools, they need the resources, and above all they need paying properly! To find out how you can get more involved in the fight for better pay, join GMB today!

Past Bulletins

Date: 24/03/2021

GMB submits 10% pay claim for Local Authority

Our members pay claim is:

  • A 10% increase across all pay rates and allowances
  • An increase in grade and recognition for craft operatives that regularly use additional skills to support employer business needs.
  • A substantial increase in stand-by payments
  • Reduction in the working week to 35hr with no loss of pay
  • Extra day of Annual Leave
  • Recognition of the increased use of technology
  • Modernisation of tool allowance and increase in tool insurance
  • Maintenance of the Red Book Agreement
  • Commitment to insourcing of work and implementation of the Construction Charter

 

CRAFT WORKERS DESERVE A PAY RISE

Local Authority craft workers undertake highly skilled work, which is both physically demanding and carries a high safety risk. Therefore, their remuneration and terms and conditions need to be comparable with those in other collective industry agreements.

If rates of pay continue to lag behind those paid to similarly skilled tradespeople in the private sector, and below the Real Living Wage (See Table 2) this will undermine Local Government’s ability to undertake high quality craft work and create recruitment and retention issues, contribute to skills shortages, impact on staff morale and reduce productivity.

JNC pay rates*

JNC Grades Hourly pay rate 2020 Weekly pay rate 2020 Annual pay rate 2020
Building Labourer £9.43 £349.00 £18,198
Heating & Ventilation Mate £9.62 £355.98 £18,562
Building Craft Operative
Plumber £10.01 £370.36 £18,312
Engineer & Electrician £9.81 £363.10 £18,933
       

* These are minimum national agreed rates and may be varied by local agreement.

WORKING THROUGH THE PANDEMIC

Craft workers have support communities during the Covid-19 crisis providing an essential service to make homes habitable, carrying out essential and emergency repairs and stepped up to provide vital services.

On a daily basis they put themselves on the front lines of this crisis. It is only just that their contribution to the national effort is recognised.

Local authority workers have been the unsung heroes of our communities for far too long and they deserve better pay and working conditions.

 

AUSTERITY HAS FAILED

Following a decade of pay restraint, many staff working in local government have seen up to a quarter of the value of their pay wiped out through substantial increases in the cost of living (See Tables 3, 4 and 5 and Graph 1). Morale of staff is also at an all-time low, with members feeling overworked, put at risk and undervalued.

Average pay settlements across the economy have been running ahead of those received by local government staff for a decade. Only a significant and appropriate pay award can begin to redress a lost decade of cuts, austerity and crisis.

An increase in local government pay would reduce government expenditure on benefits, tax credits and Universal Credit – and increase revenue from National Insurance and income tax while also providing a much needed spending boost to local economies.

 

TIME FOR A REAL RISE

Local government craft workers ever increasing workloads, deteriorating pay and conditions, and persistent job insecurity. Against the odds, they have delivered efficiency savings year-on-year but have reached the limit; no more can be squeezed from an exhausted and demoralised workforce.


Date: 11/01/2021

LOCAL GOVERNMENT CRAFT WORKERS  SURVEY HEADLINE RESULTS

The NJC pay survey closed in November 2020. The headline results are as follows:

45% of respondents would be willing to accept a 10% pay increase to at least maintain standard of living, with the mean settlement across all responses being 7.4%

81% respondents think GMB should continue to campaign for a minimum £10.00 starting rate.

55% respondents said there are conditions beyond a percentage increase they would like GMB to submit on the claim. There were a range of suggestions, from a 35hr week with no loss of pay or additional annual leave, to percentage increases in allowance and tool insurance. GMB have agreed to supplement this year’s pay claim with a conditions pay claim.

1 in 3 respondents work regular unpaid overtime

None of the respondents have taken time off due to Covid-19

Due to pandemic and restricted access to workplaces 1 in 4 respondents requested socially distanced workplace meetings.

 

NEXT STEPS

GMB are meeting with NJC Unions to agree the full staff side pay claim. GMB NJC meetings have already taken place with the majority view that we move to a pay claim that asks for a substantial pay increase but that this pay round we include a condition’s claim as there are several areas NJC unions want to discuss with the employer in the next pay round.

 

TIMELINE (subject to change please visit this page regularly as it will be updated)

JANUARY 2021

  • AGREE PAY CLAIM WITH NJC UNIONS
  • MEET WITH BOTH THE GMB LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND SCHOOLS COMMITTEES
  • ISSUE AN ALL-MEMBERS COMMS ONCE PAY CLAIM IS AGREED
  • TALKS WITH LGA EMPLOYERS TO COMMENCE ON PAY AND NEGOTIATIONS TO START ON THE PAY CLAIM

FEBRUARY 2021

  • ASK MEMBERS TO CONTACT THEIR COUNCILLORS/GENERIC MOTION SEEKING SUPPORT FOR PAY CLAIM
  • ALL MEMBERS MEETING (DIGITAL AND IN PERSON)
  • ON-GOING TALKS WITH LGA EMPLOYERS

MARCH 2021

  • ONCE FINAL OFFER RECEIVED ENSURE ALL MEMEMBERS HAVE THEIR SAY ON PAY IN A CONSULTATIVE BALLOT.
APRIL 2021+
  • THE BALLOT WILL RUN DIGITALLY, AS WE ARE STILL LIKELY TO HAVE RESTRICTED ACCESS TO WORKPLACES, UPDATES TO FOLLOW THE RESULT!
 
 

Date: 12/10/2020

CRAFT WORKER 'RED BOOK' PAY DEAL AGREED

Pay Negotiations and Ballots have concluded on the 2020 pay deal for Craft Workers in Local Government.

The full details are available in the Joint Negotiating Committee's letter to Chief Executives, here.

In brief, the pay settlment for the year is:

  • 2.75 per cent on Building Labourer grade (equivalent to NJC SCP2)
  • 2.75 per cent on Heating & Ventilation Mate grade (equivalent to NJC SCP3)
  • 2.75 per cent on Building Operative grade (equivalent to NJC SCP3)
  • 2.75 per cent on Plumber grade (equivalent to NJC SCP4)
  • 2.75 per cent on Engineer & Electrician grade (equivalent to NJC SCP5)
  • 2.75 per cent on all allowances

Date: 26/06/2020

CRAFT WORKER ‘RED BOOK’ PAY 2020

The National Employers have now made a final offer to employees whose pay is determined by the Craft JNC National Agreement, the ‘Red Book’.

This offer applies only to those craft workers whose pay is determined by the above agreement, and does not apply to members whose pay is determined by NJC ‘Green Book’ arrangements.

Background

GMB expressed dismay at the opening offer of 2% tabled by your employer earlier this year, and rejected it. The employer has since considered the rejection and tabled a revised offer, as detailed below. 

Headlines for the offer are as follows:

For all Craft JNC employees (regardless of job title and designation) whose rate of pay differs from the salaries set out in the Craft JNC 2018-20 pay agreement circular (dated 4 July 2018), but is still contractually linked to the annual settlement reached by the Craft JNC, the Employers’ final offer is as follows:

With effect from 1 April 2020, an increase of 2.75 per cent on basic salary and allowances.

For those few Craft employees who are paid the specific annual salaries as set out in the Craft JNC 2018-20 pay agreement, the Employers’ offer is as follows.

With effect from 1 April 2020:

• 2.75% on Building Labourer grade (equivalent to SCP2 on the NJC spine)

• 2.75% on Heating & Ventilation Mate grade (equivalent to SCP3 on the NJC spine)

• 2.75% on Building Operative grade (equivalent to SCP3 on the NJC spine)

• 2.75% on Plumber grade (equivalent to SCP4 on the NJC spine)

• 2.75% on Engineer & Electrician grade (equivalent to SCP5 on the NJC spine), and

• 2.75% on all allowances 

With effect from 1 April 2020, an increase of one day to the minimum annual leave entitlement as set out at Part 2 Para 7.2 in the National Agreement. This increase would apply just to those employees whose leave entitlement at 1 April 2020 is twenty one days (plus extra statutory and public holidays).

This element of the offer would increase the minimum leave entitlement whilst retaining the ‘Red Book’ current long-service entitlement at 26 days.

Further details including the employer's response to other elements of the pay claim can be found in the previous bulletin below.

GMB are disappointed that the pay offer doesn’t reflect the pay claim and have made strong representation to your employers for months that the pay offer falls short of expectations.   
 
Now it’s time for you to have your say – in GMB only members have the final say.

So GMB is now asking members to vote on the pay offer of 2.75%.  We need you to tell us if you want to accept or reject the pay offer.

Become a GMB rep

If you haven’t got one in your workplace already, find out more at: gmb.org.uk/become-workplace-representative

Recruit a GMB member

Colleagues not in a union?

Sign them up here:

gmb.org.uk/join

 

Date: 29/07/2020

CRAFT WORKER 'RED BOOK' PAY 2018-20

For background information and context to the current flat rate 2.75% pay deal which we're balloting on, we're providing the previous deal and it's Pay & Conditions:

 

Date: 24/04/2020

FAO: GMB ‘Red Book’ Craft Worker Members within Local Government in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Dear Member,

As you will be aware the recognised trade unions have been in on-going pay talks with Local Government employers regarding ‘Red Book’ Craft Workers’ Pay for some time. Talks started well before we moved into this unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic. Whilst GMB’s priority has been to support all of our members across Local Government through the pandemic we have continued to hold talks with the Local Government Association (LGA) on the pay claim which the trade unions submitted last year. The LGA employers have now tabled their offer.

For the avoidance of doubt, the offer relates to Craft Workers on ‘Red Book’ terms and conditions only, and not Craft workers who are covered by NJC ‘Green Book’ arrangements.

 

Headlines of the one year offer are as follows:

For all Craft JNC employees (regardless of job title and designation) whose rate of pay differs from the salaries set out in the Craft JNC 2018-20 pay agreement circular (dated 4 July 2018), but is still contractually linked to the annual settlement reached by the Craft JNC, the Employers’ final offer is as follows:

  • With effect from 1 April 2020, an increase of 2.75 per cent on basic salary and allowances

For those few Craft employees who are paid the specific annual salaries as set out in the Craft JNC 2018-20 pay agreement, the Employers’ offer is as follows.

  • With effect from 1 April 2020: • 2.75% on Building Labourer grade (equivalent to SCP2 on the NJC spine) • 2.75% on Heating & Ventilation Mate grade (equivalent to SCP3 on the NJC spine) • 2.75% on Building Operative grade (equivalent to SCP3 on the NJC spine) • 2.75% on Plumber grade (equivalent to SCP4 on the NJC spine) • 2.75% on Engineer & Electrician grade (equivalent to SCP5 on the NJC spine), and • 2.75% on all allowances
  • With effect from 1 April 2020, an increase of one day to the minimum annual leave entitlement as set out at Part 2 Para 7.2 in the National Agreement. This increase would apply just to those employees whose leave entitlement at 1 April 2020 is twenty one days (plus extra statutory and public holidays). The entitlement as expressed applies to five day working patterns. For alternative working patterns an equivalent leave entitlement should be calculated.
  • Craft roles to be included in the NJC’s discussions concerning a comprehensive joint national review of the workplace causes of stress and mental health. 
  • An agreement to recommend that representations are made to government in order to seek funding for an additional amount to be awarded to employees in recognition of their exceptional hard work.
  •  

GMB is acutely aware of what a vital role craft workers are playing across local government, right now, in fighting the coronavirus, to keep public services working and our country on track. The government should recognize this and fund a substantial additional increase for these committed staff, who have seen their pay drop substantially in real terms over recent years. We wish to resolve this pay negotiation as soon as possible so that our members get their pay rise, but we need more clarity on the money available, as well as some agreed timescales for the joint discussions on the non-pay elements of the claim, before we can move to consult our members.

Now is the time for employers and unions to call for the government to step in and properly reward these critical roles within our vital local government services.

 

NEXT STEPS

In GMB our members always have a say on their pay so a full pay ballot for you to have a vote on the offer will follow but please note the initial next steps are as follows:

A timetable for the ballot will be worked out but we do not anticipate the ballot to open until we have exhausted the push to government to top up the 2.75% . We will continue to carry on with the pay negotiations on the areas that need further talks until we conclude to a final pay offer.

 

CONCLUSION

GMB appreciates how difficult the current working environment our members are operating under and we will continue to ensure we make full representation on your pay. Once we reach a conclusion the final offer will be put to every member to a vote to have their say on pay.

 

SIGN UP

GMB appreciate that key workers are on the frontline but please note now is the time to build our union power so if you are aware of any work colleagues not in a union please encourage them to join at www.gmb.org.uk.  We appreciate you may have a number of questions on the next steps but please be assured we will continue to provide regular prompt updates in the coming days and weeks. If you need to raise anything on pay please contact your local GMB Rep/Officer. Finally can we take this opportunity to thank you for all that you are doing to keep us safe and also for all you are doing in getting us through this pandemic.

Full details of the offer can be found here:

Download Full Details of Offer (pdf)

The Trade Unions’ response can be found here:

Download TU Response (doc)

Please stay safe.

Best Wishes,

Karen Leonard - National Officer - Public Services Section

 
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