Offer of two pay points plus a cash lump sum to end dispute was rejected at last night’s council meeting by a single vote in the chamber

Unite the union has confirmed that its members at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council will commence continuous strike action at the local authority tomorrow. The decision by workers followed last night’s vote at full council at which a proposal to settle the strike by offering two pay point increments and a lump sum to workers – similar to that provided in Derry City & Strabane and in Mid-Ulster District Councils – was voted down by a majority of one councillor.

General Secretary of Unite, Sharon Graham, pledged her union’s full support to the striking council workers.

“Employers need to recognise the huge pressures the cost of living crisis is having on employees and their families. The vote by Causeway Coast and Glens councillors demonstrates a total failure to recognise the need to provide council workers with a living income.

“Unite members at Causeway Coast and Glens, at Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon and at Lisburn and Castlereagh can count on the full backing of my union as they seek to defend jobs, pay and conditions.”

Gareth Scott is regional officer for the council. He expressed his union’s hope that other trade unions would now ballot their members to join Unite in the fight to win a cost of living pay increase.

“Unite the union only suspended our action in the hope that councillors would support a deal similar to that which ended the disputes at Derry City & Strabane and Mid-Ulster councils. Disgracefully the proposal was defeated last night with the narrowest of margins and this now leaves our members with no alternative but to commence our planned strike action from tomorrow.

“We are hopeful that both NIPSA and GMB trade unions will now swiftly proceed to ballot their members and lend their strength to a joint strike action. Workers stand stronger when they stand together.”