Local government protests over pay are spreading

From Rother to Reigate, UNISON members are saying they refuse to be left behind on pay

Protests have been taking place at locations across the region by local government workers concerned about pay. This marked an escalation in disputes between UNISON and some local authorities over the level of pay rises awarded this year, at a time when inflation is running rampant and staff are worried about making ends meet.

Dozens of staff working for Rother District Council in Kent held a demonstration calling for increased pay on 26 April.

They were joined by colleagues from Surrey County Council who demonstrated in Reigate on 2 May with banners making clear they refused to be left behind and accept getting poorer.

Both events gathered interest from local media, with multiple interviews of UNISON members taking place.

Surrey and Rother are both on local pay arrangements, unlike the majority of English councils that have their pay negotiated nationally.

UNISON is also in dispute over nationally negotiated (NJC) local government pay and will be balloting members for strike action in order to secure an improved offer.

Read more about the NJC pay ballot