NJC pay 2023: Vote for strike action in councils and schools

NJC pay 2023: Vote for strike action in councils and schools

Note – NJC pay covers council and school workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

UNISON has been campaigning for a decent pay rise for council and school workers. We called for a pay increase of inflation plus 2% – based on the Treasury’s annual forecast for RPI for 2023, this would amount to 12.7%. However, the local government employers have responded with an offer of a flat rate increase of £1,925 (with less for part-time and term-time workers)*. In a cost-of-living crisis this simply is not good enough. (*Due to London weighting, workers in the inner London area would receive a flat rate increase of £2,352, with those in outer London receiving £2,226)

We’ve created a pay calculator that will work out how much your pay should increase based on the current inflation rate so you can see just how ineffective this pay offer really is:

Use the pay calculator

So, we’re putting it to you, our members. You are currently being balloted to ask if you wish to take industrial action over pay. Ballot papers were posted out from Tuesday 23 May in England and Wales and need to reach us by the deadline of Tuesday 4 July, with the ballot in Northern Ireland opening in August.

We understand that taking action is a big step and may feel overwhelming when you have colleagues and service users who rely on you. It may even feel that it’s something other sectors undertake but not you. But over the past 12 years, council and school staff have lost on average 25% from the value of you pay when measured against the Retail Price Index (RPI) measure of inflation since 2010. Prices and bills are reaching new highs every day and every pound in your pay packet really counts.

Taking action will send a clear message to employers that you need a better pay rise that will actually help during the cost-of-living crisis. You deliver a vital public service that helps everyone in your community – you deserve fair pay for the important work that you do.

What you can do

VOTE YES! That’s the most important thing you can do right now – look out for your red envelope and as soon as you receive your ballot paper, please vote and post it back straight away. If we don’t have at least 50% of members voting, we cannot take action.

The red envelope that NJC ballot papers will arrive in. Rise up to get pay up – Council and school worker pay 2023

If you haven’t received your ballot paper, please contact our dedicated helpline on 0800 0 857 857 – it is open between 5 June and midday 28 June.

If you have lost your ballot paper and need a replacement, you can request a new one until midday 28 June.

Once you’ve voted, here are some other ways to help:

  • Get your colleagues involved – if your colleagues aren’t members of UNISON already, encourage them to join! If they join by 21 June, they are eligible to vote in the ballot. They can join online and it only takes five minutes:


  • You can share our branded graphics and videos via the hashtag #PayUp2023


Other ways to get involved:

You can email your local councillor and ask them to use their influence to support local government workers by giving them the recognition and pay they deserve:

Email your councillor