Calls for ten per cent pay rise, extra day’s holiday and £10 minimum wage for Lancaster City Council workers

Lancaster Town Hall.
Lancaster Town Hall.

Council workers in Lancaster and Morecambe could be in line for a 10 per cent pay rise from next year.

Proposals due to go before councillors next week also request that all staff employed by Lancaster City Council should earn a minimum of £10 an hour.

A motion submitted by Labour Councillor Jason Wood, and seconded by council leader Erica Lewis, as well as Labour councillors Jack O’Dwyer-Henry, 
Robert Redfern and Faye Penny, asks the council to support the pay claim submitted by GMB UNISON and Unite on behalf of council workers.

This asks for a £10 per hour minimum wage and a 10 per cent uplift across all other pay points in 2020/21, a one day increase to the minimum paid annual leave entitlement, a two hour reduction in the standard working week, and a comprehensive joint national review of the workplace causes of stress and mental ill-health throughout local authorities.

The motion also requests the council’s chief executive write to the Chancellor and Secretary of State to call for a pay increase for local government workers to be funded with new money from central government.

The proposals - due to be heard at a full council meeting next - week note that local government overall has seen central government funding cuts of nearly 50 per cent since 2010, and between 2010 and 2020, Lancaster City Council will have lost 54p out of every £1 it has received from central government.

The 2019 Local Government Association (LGA) survey of council finances found that one in three councils fear they will run out of funding to provide even their statutory, legal duties by 2022/23.

This number rises to almost two thirds of councils by 2024/2025 or later.

The LGA estimates councils will face a funding gap of £8 billion by 2025.

It also notes that the local government workforce has “endured years of pay restraint” with the majority of pay points losing 22 per cent of their value since 2009/10.

It says: “At the same time as seeing their pay go down in real terms, workers experience ever increasing workloads and persistent job insecurity.

“Across the UK, an estimated 876,000 jobs have been lost in local government since June 2010 – a reduction of 30 per cent.

“Local government has arguably been hit by more severe job losses than any other part of the public sector.

“There has been a disproportionate impact on women, with women making up more than three quarters of the local government 
workforce.”

The motion is due to be debated by councillors at a full council meeting at 
Morecambe Town Hall on Wednesday September 25 at 6pm.