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Support staff pay and funding campaign

Campaigning for an above-inflation pay rise and further funding to improve staffing.

What is the unions’ pay claim for 2024/25?

The three recognised local government unions (Unison, GMB and Unite) have submitted the following above-inflation claim, to be payable from April:

  • All employees to receive a wage rise of £3,000 or 10%, whichever is higher 
  • All employers to agree a clear plan to reach a minimum pay rate of £15 an hour in a maximum of two years 
  • An additional day of annual leave for all staff regardless of their current entitlement.

What has been the employers’ response to the claim?

The employers have responded with what they have described as their ‘full and final’ offer :

  • An increase of £1,290 (pro rata for part-time employees) to be paid as a consolidated, permanent addition on all NJC pay points 2 to 43 inclusive
  • An increase of 2.50 per cent on all allowances (as listed in the 2023 NJC pay agreement circular dated 1 November 2023)

This equates to a 2.5% at the top of the scale and 5.7% at the bottom. It is not fully funded

Union response

Both Unison and Unite are consulting their members with a recommendation to reject the offer. GMB are also consulting their members and although ‘disappointed’ with the offer, there is no recommendation being made to members.

These consultations are all currently open, with closing dates of 28th June (Unison), 5th July (GMB) and 10th July (Unite).

NEU have already conducted an indicative ballot that indicated a willingness to take industrial action in support of the NJC claim alongside others, alongside a willingness to take industrial action on pay and funding alongside NEU teacher members. The vote and turnout strongly suggest that a formal ballot of support staff would return a legal mandate to take action in both scenarios.

Therefore, there is no need to conduct another indicative ballot of support staff. But we do want to seek members’ views on whether to accept or reject the NJC offer.

Support staff members will be asked to take part in a simple email/text vote over a two week period, from 26th June to 10th July to indicate if they accept or reject the offer. NEU Executive are urging members to reject the offer.

The outcome of this exercise and similar ones elsewhere, will inform the Executive in determining the next steps, i.e. whether and when support staff members might be balloted, either alongside NJC unions or NEU teacher members.

vote reject poster listing Use this poster to encourage members to vote.

Use this poster to encourage members to vote.

2024 indicative ballot

  England  Wales 
 Turnout %Yes %No %Turnout %Yes %No %

Ballot questions:

Q1 Do you support the NJC unions' 2024-25 above-inflation pay demand?

Q2 Would you vote 'yes' to strike action alongside NJC unions in support of their 2024-25 pay demand?

Q3 Would you vote “Yes” to strike action alongside NEU teacher colleagues for further school funding, that fully funds pay awards, fully protects support staff terms, conditions and job security and provides improved levels of staffing provision in schools, colleges and education services?

Q4 (WALES ONLY) Would you vote “Yes” to strike action if the Welsh Government imposes a reform of the school year by reducing the summer break to four weeks?

2023 ballots

Support staff pay is determined by the National Joint Council (NJC) and negotiated by its recognised unions, Unison, GMB and Unite. Read full details of the 2023 NJC offer.

In 2023 85 per cent of NEU support staff members voted to ACCEPT the Government funding offer, on a turnout of 45 per cent.

The prospect of combined strike action involving teachers and support staff next term was a critical factor in forcing ministers’ hands to pledge £900 million of additional cash to ensure teacher and support staff pay awards were better funded, thereby protecting jobs. For the bulk of support staff, the flat-rate offer represented an increase of between 6 and 8 per cent, slightly better than the Government’s improved offer to teachers.

What extra funding was offered?

  • £900 million extra funding, year-on-year, for schools to pay for the extra 3 per cent for teachers’ pay.
  • Guarantees that the extra money will not come from any frontline services, including Special Educational Needs (SEND) funding, schools’ capital, maintained nursery or 16-19 funding provision.
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