At a meeting of Full Council on Wednesday 1st December Bedford Borough Labour Group will propose a Motion calling upon the council to write to the Local Government Association and to the Chancellor and Secretary of State to call for a substantial pay increase for local government workers to be funded with new money from Central Government.
At the present time staff have been offered a 1.75% pay increase, which comes after more than a decade of pay freezes and below inflation pay awards that has left council workers 23% worse off than they were in 2010.
Councillor Abu Sultan, who will propose the motion, said he will try to make the position clear:
“This Motion does not ask this council to fund a more substantial pay rise from its own depleted resources.”
“It does not ask local residents to fund a pay increase through an increase in Council Tax.”
“It asks the Council to write to Tory Central Government, which found billions of pounds to fund a failed test & trace system, sub-standard PPE, and numerous other dodgy deals, to ask them to now find the money to directly fund a fair pay increase for local authority staff.”
“As Councillors we know just how hard our employees work, and we rely on them, we should support them too. Council workers have shown enormous goodwill, adaptability and endurance, and worked all hours throughout the pandemic and crises such as last years floods. That goodwill should not be taken for granted. This Motion asks all councillors to show staff our solidarity and appreciation, show that we believe that council employees deserve a far better pay offer, and believe that Central Government should fully fund this to show their appreciation too.”
Speaking in support of the Motion, Labour Group Leader Sue Oliver said;
“We have all praised staff for their dedication and determination in carrying out their duties. Teams throughout every council department have soldiered on, despite a lack of a fair pay award for so many years now. A substantially increased pay offer would surely make present staff feel valued and make working for the local authority a more attractive proposition, ensuring we have the best workers to provide the best services possible now and in the future.”
Kiran Mal, Branch Secretary of Bedford Borough Unison Branch, commented:
“UNISON is pleased that the Labour Group is to propose this motion on local government pay at the Full Council meeting this evening, and we hope that the Council will now be calling on Central Government and the Local Government Association to provide a substantial pay rise to Local Government workers, funded by Central Government. We hope that Central Government and the Local Government Association will listen and act on this call for a fair pay rise for Local Government workers in Bedford and beyond.”
Martin Foster GMB Beds County Branch Secretary commented:
“GMB welcomes the Bedford Borough Labour Group’s motion on Local Government pay. Central Government needs to hear from local councils up and down the country that, GMB members have worked tirelessly through this pandemic to keep services going with many of them putting themselves at risk on the front line. It is now time for Central Government to fund and reward our members with no more than they deserve, a substantial pay rise”.