Prospect and Soulbury unions to push back in further pay talks

13 February 2023

Prospect’s Education and Children’s Services Group, and its partner unions who represent education professionals covered by the Soulbury agreement, will hold a further meeting with the Local Government Association after the unions collectively rejected their “final pay offer.”

In response to the unions’ pay claim of at least 9% on all pay points, the employers’ side had offered an increase of just £1,925 and 4.04% on allowances.

The LGA was told that following consultation with their members that there was a “clear and forceful rejection of the pay offer.”

David Powell, the officers’ side secretary who responded to the LGA on behalf of the Soulbury unions wrote:

“We were disappointed that you described the pay offer as final. The unions also felt that there was a failure on the Employers’ Side to engage with the evidence on issues like recruitment and retention during the meeting of the Soulbury Committee held on 25 October 2022. Delivery of educational psychology and educational improvement services depends on the goodwill of Soulbury officers, which is now at risk.”

He continued:

“Soulbury officers are working in extremely difficult circumstances and are becoming increasingly despondent and angry about employers not appearing to recognise the value of their work and making little effort to redress chronic shortages of Soulbury officers.”

The Soulbury unions, which includes Prospect, the Association of Educational Psychologists, and the National Education Union, represents educational improvement professionals, educational psychologists and managers of young people’s and community services employed by local authorities.

Andy Jennings, Prospect national secretary, said: “I welcome this further meeting with the LGA as we remain some distance away from an agreement. We all strongly believe that the employer can still make an improved offer, which will more accurately reflect the value of our members’ work.

“I’d also ask that any of our members who are covered by the Soulbury agreement to make sure we have the correct contact details for them, and to update them if necessary, so we can stay in touch and keep them informed with the latest news.”

You can check, or update, your contact details by emailing [email protected] or calling our membership team on 0300 600 1878.

Alternatively, if you’re registered on the Prospect website, you can view and make any changes yourself:

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Education and children's services

Prospect represents professionals in education, children’s services, early years, commissioning and children’s social care.