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Austerity: trade unions agree coordinated strike action on 14 Oct against pay freeze

public sector payThree of Britain’s biggest unions  have agreed to escalate their dispute over pay with a coordinated strike in October, days before a massive demonstration against cuts. The three unions –  GMB, UNISON and Unite, have agreed that their members will run a coordinated strike of their local government and school members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on Tuesday 14 October.

Local government workers have suffered three years of a pay freeze, followed by a below inflation pay deal and have now been offered just 1%. They have seen their pay reduced in value by 20% since 2010. Workers took part in a one day stoppage on 10 July. No further talks have taken place since that date, despite the unions offering to go to the Government’s arbitration and conciliation service.

UNISON Head of Local Government, Heather Wakefield, said:

Employers and Government must be left in no doubt that we are serious in this dispute.  As sister unions, we stand together to make sure that our members are treated with decency and respect. Our members cannot afford to carry on propping up local services through their pay packets.  Many are low paid women who are being forced to resort to food banks and payday loan sharks just to survive.  We need to put the heart back into local government by paying a living wage.”

GMB National Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:

Our members in GMB, UNISON and Unite expect us to maximise our joint effectiveness and that’s why we are announcing thenext strike together. Our members deserve a fair pay deal and we have to fight together to achieve that. Council leaders should reconsider their parsimonious pay offer and do the right thing by their staff.”

And Unite National Officer, Fiona Farmer, said:

Local government workers have had years of real pay cuts, working harder to deliver vital local services while being paid less and struggling to make ends meet. Low paid members unable to afford basis essentials are having to choose between heating and eating. On 1st October the National Minimum Wage will overtake local government pay scales, we need Fair Pay not Poverty Pay.”

Local Government workers taking strike action will include care workers, librarians, cleaners, environmental health officers, street cleaners, home carers, parks and recreation workers, teaching assistants and school meals workers and refuse workers.

9 Comments

  1. David Melvin says:

    Have I missed something, but didn’t UNISON, GMB and Unite just sign up the the Labour party’s austerity programme?

    1. Rod says:

      Yes they did. But you have to realise, Labour austerity is better than Tory austerity: Labour austerity includes peerages for supportive trade union leaders.

      1. PoundInYourPocket says:

        Yes – Labour austerity. I can hear Balls at the 2017 conference. “U-turn if you want to”.

  2. Robert says:

    I went to a local Union meeting about three months ago when the anger was easy to see, the Union said OK we pull out of the labour party and we go it alone.

    Then you have to ask what happens to labour, it will without doubt change it’s name it’s been an ongoing ideal of the Blair-rites to actually use the Progress party as a means of changing direction to the right, labour have seen the removing of the Tories in the same way as labour removed the liberals from power.

    The Unions all of them know the battle is to try and keep Progress from taking over totally then we would see state funding come in and the Union would without doubt be kicked out.

    Not much left for the working class then..

  3. swatantra says:

    Labour can survive without the Unions, in fact in many ways, its whats holding Labour back, from electoral success.
    The sooner we get State Funding the better; politicians should not soil their hands with fund raising.

  4. john Reid says:

    I wasnt going to post here again, but Swatantra, thats the biggest load of rubbiosh i’ve ever read here,

    why should we have state funining,other than the free post some candidates get,when theyve registered to stand, there’s no way, we should have to give ome of our tax, to promote people in politics, many of whom have views deeply offensive to the public,

    as for unions holding labour back,during the last 25 years have Labour affiliated unions called for the return of the closed shop, flyingpickts, scrapiing ballots for strikes, to be labour policy, the unions,like co-op,or fabians are organisation,that work with people in society to go hand in hand to mke peoples lives better,

    yes labour for about 2 years in the late 90’s financially didnt need union money, at the time when we had the minumum wage, the new deal, union regongition in GCHQ,and the HRA,
    many unions choose to be unafiliated, that’s their choice, but trade unionists vote tory, and wanted the thathcer reforms, as such Thatcher stood on a platform in 79’s to be a productive influence on unions for their memebers, to lose potentially many union members as voters, just because there’s a few people who recall the union barons nearly destrying the party in the 80’s and their long memories still cost us votes, would be a mistake,

  5. Robert says:

    John that is hilarious the best laugh I’ve had in years.

  6. john Reid says:

    o.k rob, please don’t make up lies i’m a ,member of progress either

    1. Robert says:

      John mate I do not need to make up lies everyone who has been on this site or on other sites know you and we all know your a Progress lad you followed Blair and you have told us long enough on here that New labour had won three elections and they were your hero.

      Your attack on the Unions is well known your attack on anything which is to the left is well known.

      Your a Right wing Tory New labour lad.

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