2021 local government NJC pay proposals: FAQs

Don't lose your voice in this important vote.

GMB is asking our members in local government and in schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to take part in an online pay ballot.

View our frequently asked questions below.

What is the offer?

GMB Union negotiates pay for hundreds of thousands of workers in local government and schools. Those discussions have now started for pay in 2021/22. We’re campaigning for:

  • Pay Justice – a substantial pay increase with a minimum of 10% for all workers in local government and schools
  • Better work/life balance – a reduction of hours to a 35 hour working week (on the same pay); 25 days annual leave plus bank holidays; better maternity/paternity/adoption leave; new working from home policies and new measures to tackle workplace stress and support mental health
  • To be paid for the work we do and trained for the work we do – a review of job descriptions, career development and pay for schools support staff because too many are working over and above your pay grades without the acknowledgment or reward

Who does this apply to?

All staff on NJC Green Book conditions working in councils, schools, academies and various other bodies. Over 1 million workers are covered by NJC Green Book conditions.

Staff in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. This Pay Claim is for 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022.

Who doesn't this apply to?

Staff on Craft Red Book terms, staff on Chief Officer Terms, or staffs coming under any pay arrangements other than the NJC Green Book.

For example, staff working in academies which do not follow green book terms and conditions (unless they have transferred from a local authority and retained their terms and conditions under a TUPE transfer).

For Craft and Chief Officers there are on-going discussions details can be found on the online noticeboards.

I work in an academy; how can I know if the proposals apply to me?

For the vast majority of academy staff, the pay claim will apply because your pay is still determined by NJC. However, for a small number pay may not be determined in this way.

For example, in a multi academy trust that has moved away from NJC and negotiates pay separately, where staff have a new academy contract

If you are unsure, contact your local GMB, branch details can be found here.

What are Spinal Column Points and how do they relate to me?

Spinal Column Points (SCPs) are a set of salary levels. Together they make up the national pay spine, which is what the NJC negotiates on. Due to the introduction of the national pay spine in 2019, SCP start at SCP 1 and the highest is SCP 41.

The NJC rates for SCP 1 at 2020 is at £9.25 an hour, giving a full-time annual salary of £17,842. These salary levels are used by employers to design their local pay grades or pay scales and there are many variations, depending on which local authority you are contracted to work in.

I am a part-time worker does this pay claim apply to me?

All workers including part time workers come under this pay claim and any salary agreed uplift will be applied in full to your actual salary.

I have more than one job, what about me?

Any pay agreement that follows and is agreed is applied in full to your salary for each job, providing they are all for the same employer.

My employer pays me a Living Wage supplement, what happens to me?

Any pay agreement that follows and is agreed is applied to your basic pay. It is up to your employer, but they may adjust the offer.

Please seek support from your union rep if this is the case.

What about pensions?

Any Percentage increase that is agreed are pensionable (and subject to National Insurance and tax)

What about leavers and new starters?

Anyone who leaves before April 2021, would not get anything.

A new starter would get whatever is applicable once the pay offer is negotiated and agreed.

I'm on official leave, what happens to me?

Whether on maternity leave, adoption leave, parental leave or sick leave and pay award will apply to basic pay. However, they are not paid to anyone on a career break.

What’s happens once the pay claim is submitted?

In GMB all members have a say on their pay.

Regular updates are available at the following link an on the local government noticeboard here.

Not a member? Why should I join?

If you are not a union member you should consider joining us as we are there for you at work.

Whether that’s through individual representation should your line manager change your job, asks you to take on more work, or you feel bullied.

GMB provides individual and collective representation. GMB leads on improving and retaining your pay, terms and conditions and we invite you to join the union campaigning for pay justice across local government and schools.

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