Local government members of Unite, the country’s largest union, are to vote on strike action, after decisively rejecting the ‘insulting’ one per cent pay offer in a consultative ballot.
Local government workers voted in a consultative ballot to reject the pay offer for 2014/15 by a 90 per cent margin.
Unite will now hold a ballot asking its members whether they wish to take strike action. The ballot will open in early June and the result will be known later that month.
Unite national officer for local government Fiona Farmer said: “Our members have decisively rejected the insulting pay offer of one per cent and sends a very strong message to local government employers that they need to increase their offer.
“Local government staff have been the whipping boys for the coalition’s austerity policies for the last four years, and, as a consequence, services used by some of the most vulnerable in society have been viciously pruned back.
“Our members have been experiencing a continuous pay cut in real terms, given that the current RPI rate of inflation is running at 2.5 per cent. Take home pay has been reduced by almost 20 per cent since the coalition came to power.
“Poverty pay is becoming endemic across local councils and we are seeking a £1 an hour increase across the board for local government workers.”
Fiona Farmer said that Unite would be coordinating its ballot dates and any future industrial action with the other local government trade unions.
Unite has about 70,000 members in local government carrying out such jobs as refuse collection, school support and care services.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors
• Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.