FREE RESOURCESLatest on Pay: 2023 - 2024 Pay Negotiations
Below you will find the latest updates regarding the 2023 – 2024 pay negotiations.
For details of earlier pay negotiations and to access the various pay and conditions documents please refer to the ‘Other Pay Resources’ section at the bottom of this page.
NLW Forecast - March 2023
The NLW will increase on 1 April to £10.42. The bottom NJC rate on that date will be £10.60 (pending agreement on the 2023 pay offer, which would achieve a bottom rate of £11.59).
The Low Pay Commission’s forecast last November, at the time of the Autumn Statement, was for the NLW in 2024 to get as high as £11.35, an increase of 93p (8.9 per cent) from its 2023 level. This was the top end of its forecast range of £10.82 to £11.35.
However, the LPC issued its consultation yesterday in which it published new forecasts for the 2024 rate.
The main point to note is that the forecasts are up (again). The upper estimate of the projected rate for April 2024 is now £11.43, which is 8p higher than November’s forecast (and 10p higher than LPC’s forecast from this time last year). The central projection of £11.16 is also up: 8p higher than the £11.08 of its November forecast (and 21p higher than the £10.95 forecast from this time last year). I’m referencing both sets of 2022 LPC forecasts to illustrate how much it moves around, albeit only in one direction.
In terms of the NJC 2023 pay offer (which in all likelihood will cover the bottom rate operational on 1 April 2024), this new forecast will leave us with just 16p headroom from the top-end forecast (which is the one we use, as in recent years it’s been the closest to the actual NLW announced in the Autumn). This year we will have 18p headroom on 1 April (pending the 2023 pay deal), so as you can see, despite a 6.42 per cent (national paybill increase) pay offer that is proportionately higher at the bottom end of the pay spine, we remain only just about standing still in terms of our proximity to the NLW.
As the National Employers pointed out when the pay offer was announced on 23 Feb, at the bottom end, employees would have had a 22 per cent / £4k pay rise in two years. However, that’s achieved almost nothing in getting us ahead of the NLW, as is the ambition.
NJC for Local Government Services
Agreement has been reached on the 2023 pay awards for local government services (‘Green Book’) employees and local authority Chief Executives. Both agreements cover the period 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024. The details are set out in the below circular. A separate employer circular, providing some context to this year’s pay round, will follow shortly.
For a third consecutive year, Unite has refused to have its details included in the NJC pay agreement circular. This is disappointing but does not prevent a formal collective agreement from being reached as the necessary Constitutional requirement for a majority on each Side of the NJC to be in favour has been met, which means the pay award can now be implemented.
We are unable to give any indication of when the pay deal for JNC (‘Red Book’) Craftworkers might be reached. Both unions (Unite and GMB) continue to reject the Employers’ full and final pay offer. We advise very strongly against imposing the pay offer ahead of a national collective agreement being reached. To do so would not only fragment the unity of the employers’ position but would also leave councils vulnerable to questions being asked by auditors about why, in the absence of a national collective agreement, expenditure had been unnecessarily incurred. Perhaps more importantly, councils would need to consider very carefully the wider legal issues, including those arising out of the cases of Kostal UK Limited v Dunkley and INEOS Infrastructure Grangemouth Limited v Jones & others.
The full NJC Trade Union Side met this afternoon to discuss the National Employers’ full and final pay offer, which they received on 23 Feb.
You will be aware that UNISON announced recently it would not be taking any strike action and wished instead to, “…resolve this year’s pay dispute and get that pay increase in [its members] pockets as soon as possible.” You will also be aware that Unite is currently engaged in industrial action in a small number of councils, and GMB is conducting industrial action ballots, targeted at some councils and schools, which close on 24 Oct.
No decision on the pay offer was reached today. The unions did though agree to reconvene within a few days of GMB’s strike ballots closing.
The National Employers share councils’ exasperation at the unions’ continued procrastination, which results only in yet more delay before employees can finally get the £1,925 pay increase they’ve been waiting for since April.
Despite this further delay, we continue to advise very strongly against imposing any pay offer before the collective bargaining process has concluded. To do so would not only fragment the unity of the employers’ position but would also leave councils vulnerable to questions being asked by auditors about why, in the absence of a national collective agreement, expenditure has been unnecessarily incurred. Perhaps more importantly, councils would need to consider very carefully the wider legal issues, including those arising out of the cases of Kostal UK Limited v Dunkley and INEOS Infrastructure Grangemouth Limited v Jones & others.
Please share this email with Chf Execs, HR and Finance Dirs, school leaders and elected members.
The National Employers have reaffirmed the pay offer as full and final, in response to a letter from the NJC unions, received yesterday, in which they sought an improved pay offer.
Both letters can be viewed below:
From the LGA
Further to the below GMB has announced that its members have rejected the LGS ‘Green Book’ pay offer by 64% to 36%. GMB added, “If negotiations aren’t reopened and a revised offer made, we will move to industrial action ballots in some areas.”
Unite has announced that its LGS ‘Green Book’ members have voted to reject their pay offer by 75 per cent to 25 per cent and its Craft ‘Red Book’ members voted to reject their pay offer by 76 per cent to 24 per cent. Unite now plans to conduct formal ballots for industrial action, for both groups, which are expected to run on a timetable similar to UNISON’s strike ballot: from late May to early July.
Please find below an employer circular containing an important update on the 2023 local government pay round.
GMB have announced that its national committee had met and agreed to conduct a consultative ballot of its members with a recommendation that the employers’ final offer be rejected. It will explain that by rejecting the offer, GMB members will be indicating their willingness to participate in future industrial action. We await further details of the timetable of GMB’s consultation process.
They also await formal confirmation of UNISON’s position.
Media statement released by Unite.
The last line states, “Further negotiations are to be held with local government employers today (Wednesday 8 March) alongside Unison and GMB, where the unions will be seeking a significant improvement in the pay offer.”
The meeting on Wednesday 8 March is taking place at the request of the unions, who asked to meet with the employers to discuss the pay offer. The National Employers will be represented at the meeting by four lead members who have no remit other than to reaffirm the offer as full and final and to relay back to the full Employers’ Side, the views expressed by the unions.
If UNISON and GMB formally confirm their positions on the offer at the meeting, there will be a further update.
23 February 2023
The National Employers have made a full and final offer to the trade unions representing local government services (‘Green Book’) employees. The details are set out in the below employer circular.
30 January 2023
At 5pm on 30 January, the Employers received from the NJC Trade Unions a 2023 pay claim for local government services (‘Green Book’) employees (click the link to view). Councils will be briefed on the unions’ claim and other relevant background information, at regional pay briefings scheduled to take place between 6 and 15 February.
The Pay Briefing for the South East is on Thursday 9 February at 12 noon. Please see our Events Page on our website for further details and to book to ensure your Council is represented.
The claim seeks:
- RPI + 2 per cent on all pay points
- Consideration of a flat rate increase to hourly rates of pay in order to bring the minimum rate up to £15 per hour within two years
- A review and improvement of NJC terms for family leave and pay
- A review of job evaluation outcomes for school staff whose day-to-day work includes working on Special Educational Needs (SEN)
- An additional day of annual leave for personal or well-being purposes
- A homeworking allowance for staff for whom it is a requirement to work from home
- A reduction in the working week by two hours
- A review of the pay spine, including looking at the top end, and discussions about the link between how remuneration can be used to improve retention
The most recent inflation figures, released by ONS on 18 Jan, confirms RPI was 13.4 per cent in Dec 22 (NB: since 2013, ONS has said “RPI does not meet the required standard for designation as a National Statistic, but in recognition that it continues to be widely used in contracts, we continue to publish the figure each month”).
To meet the unions’ pay claim in full (15.4 per cent) would increase the national paybill by more than £2.6bn.
Separate pay claims have not yet been submitted by the Staff Sides representing local authority Chief Executives, Chief Officers and Craftworkers.
The National Employers will be meeting on 23 February.
The detail in the unions’ claim cites an RPI figure of 10.7 per cent, which is the current annual forecast for RPI in 2023, published in November 2022 by the Office for Budget Responsibility. Therefore, to meet the pay element of the claim in full (12.7 per cent) would increase local government’s national paybill by more than £2.1bn.
NJC for Chief Officers
Agreement has today been reached on the 2023 pay award for local authority Chief Officers. This circular dated 5 May 2023 sets out the details.
The National Employers have today made full and final offers to the Staff Sides representing local authority Chief Officers. The details are set out in the below letter:
The LGA have received from GMB and UNISON, the below 2023 pay claim for local authority Chief Officers.
The claim seeks:
- RPI (10.70 per cent) + 2.0 per cent
- Additional day’s leave wef 1 April 2023
- An additional day of annual leave for personal or well-being purposes
Separate pay claims have already been submitted by the unions representing local government services (‘Green Book’) employees and local authority Chief Executives. However, we have not yet received a pay claim from the unions for local authority Craftworker (‘Red Book’) employees.
Teachers in Residential Establishments
No updates currently.
The National Employers remain in dispute with the Soulbury Officers’ Side on pay for 2022. The National Employers made a revised final multi year offer on 27 September which consisted of a £1925 pay increase for 2022, a 3.5% pay increase for 2023 and some additional changes to the Soulbury pay spines. The Officers’ Side has formally rejected this offer and called for mediation. The National Employers will be meeting shortly to consider next steps.
As a result of this dispute, the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) has decided to proceed to industrial action which is scheduled to take place during November and December, with dates to be confirmed and notified to local authority employers. The AEP held a ballot on strike action in each local authority area which closed on 8September. Members in 86.6% per cent of local authorities met the participation threshold for the ballot and voted in favour of industrial action, with members in in 33 of these authorities voting 100% in favour of taking strike action. The ballot is on a disaggregated council by council basis.
The National Employers remains in dispute with the Soulbury Officers’ Side on pay for 2022. The National Employers made an offer of £1925 last November and we have been unable to reach a pay agreement. The Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) is undertaking a ballot for industrial action (July to September). Joint Secretarial discussions will be taking place next month in an effort to find a resolution.
The National Employers remains in dispute with the Soulbury Officers’ Side on pay for 2022. The National Employers made an offer of £1925 last November and we have been unable to reach an agreement to date. We now understand that the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) has decided to progress to a formal ballot for industrial action. Notices will be sent to employers as required by the legislation in due course. Other unions (NEU and Prospect) on the Officers’ Side will continue to consider their next steps in furtherance of this dispute. The National Employers’ will be meeting shortly to consider next steps.
The National Employers remain in dispute with the Staff Associations on pay for Soulbury officers for 2022. Discussions are ongoing and it is hoped that a pay settlement can be reached.
Fire & Rescue Services
We await the pay claim from the Trade Unions.
JNC for Chief Executives
01 June 2023
The Staff Side has today responded to the National Employers’ full and final 3.50 per cent pay offer to local authority Chief Executives, which was made on 23 February. It described the offer as “not acceptable.” The Staff Side’s position is that “it will not accept any pay offer for April 2023 until the outcome for NJC [local government services ‘Green Book’] staff is known.” The Staff Side also said, “it reserves its right to consider other steps if the offer for JNC Chief Executives remains in percentage terms below whatever percentage increase is finalised for staff on the top point of the NJC scale.”
Separately, you will be aware that last month, agreement was reached on the 2023 pay award of 3.50 per cent to local authority Chief Officers.
23 February 2023
The National Employers have made full and final offers to the Staff Sides representing local authority Chief Executives. the details are set out in the circular below:
31 January 2023
A 2023 pay claim has been received from ALACE for local authority Chief Executives. Councils will be briefed on this claim at the South East regional pay briefings (click the link to book) scheduled to take place on 9 February.
The claim seeks:
- a pay increase for all chief executives in April 2023 and subsequent years that is the same as the percentage increase for the top point on the scale for local government staff covered by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services (NB: If the pay offer is expressed in £s rather than a percentage for the NJC scale, we are seeking a pay increase for chief executives that is not less than the percentage increase for the top point on the NJC scale. If the pay offer for the NJC scale is expressed in percentage terms…we are seeking a percentage pay increase for chief executives that is the same as the percentage increase for the top point on the NJC scale, spinal column point 43)
- a direct and immutable link for increases for April 2023 onwards, to ensure that chief executives would receive the same percentage increase as the top point on the NJC scale
- the potential need to review the provision that the leave allowance for chief executives is a minimum of 30 days (inclusive of any long service leave, extra statutory and local holidays). If the 2023 pay deal for NJC staff involves any further increase in annual leave, we would expect to see a matching increase in the minimum leave allowance for chief executives.
Separate pay claims have not yet been submitted by the Staff Sides representing local authority Chief Officers and Craftworkers.
The National Employers will be meeting on 23 February.
Teachers - STPCD
The DfE has confirmed the final Sept 2023 STPCD went live on Friday 13 October, and is now live on GOV.UK. As in previous years, although it has legal effect now, it is subject to the standard 21-day praying period in Parliament, which will conclude on 3 November.
From the LGA
Schoolteacher pay 2022
Following negotiations hoping to resolve the dispute over the 2022/23 pay award, the Government’s pay offer was rejected following a ballot of Trade Union members. The National Education Union announced two further strike days; 27 April and 2 May. NASUWT’s intention is to re-ballot staff.
NAHT’s are discussing balloting members and the Association of School and College Leaders will now hold a strike ballot during summer term.
Schoolteacher pay 2023
Teachers’ pay for (2023/24) now continues through the independent pay review process (School Teachers’ Review Body’s – STRB)
LGA published the National Employers’ Organisation for School Teachers written evidence to the STRB January 2023, followed by attending the STRB oral evidence session on 21 April 2023.
LGA awaits the final STRB’s 33rd report which Government should have by end of May 2023. The Government is expected to publish the STRB report early summer, with pay decision announced for September 2023.
National Employers’ Organisation for School Teacher response: local.gov.uk/our-support/workforce-and-hr-support/education-and-young-people/school-teachers-pay-2023
On 15 November, the Secretary of State for Education wrote to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) setting out the remit for the 2023 report. There is one matter for recommendation:
An assessment of the adjustments that should be made to the salary and allowance ranges for classroom teachers, unqualified teachers, and school leaders in 2023/24. This should aim to promote recruitment and retention whilst taking into account the Government’s commitment to uplift starting salaries to £30,000 and the cost pressures facing both the school system as a whole and individual schools.
The Secretary of State also requested the STRB offer an initial view on areas within the STRB’s scope which would most benefit from future exploration to support this aim. This should be considered in teh context of the Government’s ambitious professional development reforms in Initial Teacher Training, the Early Careers Framework and National Professional Qualifications. Should the Department decide to progress any of these areas, it would likely be through the remit process for future years.
Written evidence and oral evidence will be presented to the STRB with a view to sumbitting a formal report to the Secretary of State for Education in May 2023. The report will then be considered before a draft of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) 2023 is consulted on.
JNC for Craft Workers
Agreement has been reached on the 2023 pay award for JNC local authority Craft & Associated Employees (‘Red Book’).
The National Employers have today made full and final offers to the Staff Sides representing local authority Craft Workers. The details are set out in the below letter:
21 February 2023
The LGA have received from the JNC Trade Unions, the below 2023 pay claim for local authority Craftworker (‘Red Book’) employees.
The claim seeks:
- An increase in all pay rates and allowances of RPI (13.40 per cent ) + 2.0 per cent
- A substantial additional increase to tool allowances and tool insurance cover
- A recruitment and retention payment
- Reduction in the basic working week to 35 hours, with no loss of earnings
- An increase of two annual leave days
- A payment for increasing use of technology (PDAs) and home energy systems around tools and vehicles.
NB: the most recent inflation figures, released by ONS on 18 Jan, confirms RPI was 13.40 per cent in Dec 22 (NB: since 2013, ONS has said “RPI does not meet the required standard for designation as a National Statistic, but in recognition that it continues to be widely used in contracts, we continue to publish the figure each month”).
From the LGA
JNC for Youth and Community Workers
The National Employers has undertaken a consultation of local authorities on the JNC Staff Side Trade Unions pay and conditions claim for 2023. The National Employers will meet next week to agree on a response to the claim.
Youth & Community Pay and Conditions Claim 2023
The LGA have received a pay and conditions claim for this year from the Staff Side Trade Unions – view here JNC pay claim 2023.
The LGA would like to undertake a consultation of local authorities, it is important that we get a good level of response as this will inform the Employers’ Side of the JNC in the negotiations. Download the Youth & Community Pay Claim 2023 – Consultation Collaboration doc.
The closing date is no later than 8 September 2023.
If you have any questions please contact me or David.Algie@local.gov.uk
The National Employers have yet to receive a pay and conditions claim from the Staff Side Trade Unions for 2023.
05 June 2023
Please find below the joint circular outlining the Joint Negotiating Committee for Coroners’, pay award effective from 1 April 2023.
16 Febuary 2023
A circular has been issued from the Joint Negotiating Committee for Coroners It confirms agreement of a 1.56% pay award, with effect from 1 April 2022.
Other pay resources
SEE member organisations can find more information about different aspects of pay.