London Borough of Bexley (LBB) staff up to grade Bexley 09 receive cost-of-living pay increases each year (on 1 April) as agreed in national negotiations (NJC) undertaken by UNISON and other unions on your behalf.

The latest national award was 2.75%, and this was finalised at the end of August and should now have been paid to all relevant staff (with backdated pay to April) in a recent payslip.

LBB staff on Bexley 10 or above have their pay increase set locally by the council using a scheme called Hay. The increase is due each July. 

A few decades ago, senior staff voted to opt out of national pay and have their pay set locally, with the assumption it would then be higher. UNISON opposed this but a majority of the affected staff voted for it so it happened – this is why there are two schemes in Bexley.

In reality, we recently asked HR when the last time the Hay pay increase was not the same as the NJC pay increase and they said it has never not been the same.

Officially, when the council considers what the Hay pay increase should be, they consider a number of factors including the NJC award and the current inflation rate. This year, the NJC award was 2.75% but the relevant inflation rate was 1.1%.

The HR department did not submit a Hay pay recommendation to the council committee that takes this decision in October, because they said they did not have time to prepare this following the NJC pay agreement at the end of August. The next meeting is in January and they intend to submit their recommendation then.

Given that HR said that the Hay pay award has always followed the NJC one, we firmly believe that it would be wrong for the year when staff have gone above and beyond in difficult circumstances to be the year they get a smaller award than their colleagues, especially when they will have been waiting over six months for it by the time it is finally agreed, let alone paid.

We await HR’s recommendations with interest and hope to see 2.75% for all staff in these circumstances.