Unions representing more than one million local government workers have rejected a 2% pay offer, describing it as “deeply disappointing”.
Three unions submitted a claim last year for the lowest rate for council staff to be raised to £10 an hour for its members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by 10% for other workers.
Officials called on employers to come up with a better offer so that talks can continue.
It’s high time teaching assistants, care workers, librarians and park keepers were rewarded for their sterling efforts during the difficult decade of austerityJon Richards, Unison
The settlement covers workers ranging from teaching assistants, social workers and librarians, to park keepers and refuse collectors.
Unison’s head of local government Jon Richards said: “Council staff run vital local services at the heart of communities across the three nations.
“They’ve done this through thick and thin as cuts and redundancies have made their jobs ever more challenging.
“Today’s offer is more than disappointing.”
He added: “It’s high time teaching assistants, care workers, librarians and park keepers were rewarded for their sterling efforts during the difficult decade of austerity.
“The Chancellor must give councils the cash in the Budget to fund a proper pay rise.
“Otherwise experienced staff will be lost as they seek better paid work elsewhere and there’ll be barely anyone left to deliver local services.”
GMB national officer Rehana Azam said: “This offer does nothing to address the decade of savage cuts our members have suffered – their wages have been devalued by 22% over the past 10 years.
“This is Johnson’s first test on how his Government will treat public-sector workers and the offer tabled today is woefully short of a proper decent wage.
“We demand a proper negotiation, in good faith, that restores public-sector workers’ confidence that Johnson and his new MPs – many who represent public-sector workers – value the vital services they provide.
“The election is over and soundbites are worthless unless words are followed by deeds.”
Unite national officer Ian Woodland said: “The local government pay offer is deeply disappointing, it does not begin to address the aspirations of our members.
“Following a decade of austerity, during which their pay in real terms has been slashed, local government members will not accept an offer which makes them poorer in real terms.
“Local government unions are now seeking a fresh meeting to allow employers to table a dramatically improved offer.”
Employers said the offer would increase their pay bill by £364 million to March 2021.
The offer does not apply to council chief executives, senior officers, teachers or firefighters, who are covered by separate national pay arrangements.