Statement: Council notified by Unite of proposed industrial action
RUGBY Borough Council has received notification from Unite of proposed industrial action between 26 April and 10 May 2022.
The proposed discontinuous industrial action follows a ballot of Unite members who work in the council's refuse, recycling and street cleansing services.
The council has been informed the proposed industrial action relates to the recently agreed 2021/22 pay settlement for local government workers.
The settlement, negotiated on a national level by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services and agreed by the Unison and GMB trade unions, granted a 1.75 per cent pay award, which has been backdated to 1 April 2021.
Rugby Borough Council cannot negotiate pay awards at a local level.
We understand members of Unite intend to take targeted industrial action over the national pay settlement at a number of councils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Rugby Borough Council remains committed to maintaining an open, constructive dialogue with Unite while working to minimise the impact of any industrial action on our residents.
We shall ensure residents remain informed of any disruption to services.
We plan to publish more information shortly at www.rugby.gov.uk/servicedisruption.
A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council said: “The 1.75 per cent pay settlement was negotiated and agreed by the National Joint Council (NJC) for Local Government Services, which has 70 members – 12 representing employers and 58 representing trade unions.
“The NJC negotiates the pay settlement for more than 300 local councils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which covers more than 1.4 million local government and school workers.
“Rugby Borough Council has a constructive relationship with Unite and in February completed a ‘benchmarking’ review of our refuse loader and street cleansing roles, comparing the council’s pay with the pay offered for similar roles by 19 other employers, both other local councils and companies in the private sector.
“The council’s pay for both roles was found to be above the average pay offered by the other companies and, in many cases, even higher paid.
“We have communicated this information to both Unite and our refuse, recycling and street cleansing workforce.
“The findings of the benchmarking review complement the favourable general terms and conditions the council offers in relation to employer pension contributions, annual leave and sickness entitlement. Our refuse and recycling teams also benefit from working to ‘task and finish’, which enables a better work/life balance.
“However, the council remains committed to working constructively with Unite and, following the benchmarking review, agreed in February to review all relevant job descriptions to ensure pay grades reflect the duties and responsibilities each role entails.
“We have committed to completing this review by the end of May 2022.”