Local government workers reject pay cut

From the UNISON website 

(07/08/07) The threat of strikes across England, Northern Ireland and Wales has moved closer with UNISON’s local government workers voting overwhelmingly to reject a below-inflation pay offer of 2%.In a branch consultation covering all relevant regions, 81% voted to reject the offer, giving a major thumbs-down to the suggested ‘pay cut’.

UNISON’s pay and single status group is now recommending the union proceeds to an industrial action ballot. In tandem with UNISON, the GMB and TGWU-Unite are also preparing to ballot their members on industrial action.

Meanwhile, local government unions are continuing to press for urgent talks with state secretary Hazel Blears after pay talks stalled last week. They’ve also written to Local Government Association leader Sir Simon Milton in an attempt to break the deadlock.

The three unions, who between them represent more than 1 million council workers, registered a formal dispute over pay on 16 July.

They are united in the fight for fair pay for their members, who include the lowest-paid in the public sector.

UNISON’s NJC committee will meet on 20 August to decide whether to go ahead with a ballot.

The union said negotiations with the LGA and the local government employers were unlikely to restart before then.

It is appealing to branches to ensure that membership details are fully up-to-date and that the most recent pay leaflet is ordered and distributed to members and non-members alike. The dispute provides an important opportunity to recruit non-members.

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