June 18th: In Northern Ireland, Unite has joined with NIPSA, GMB and Unison in balloting members on industrial action in support of a pay increase for local authority workers.
Unite Chair for Local Authorities, Nigel Gregg, said:
“Over one million local authority workers in the UK earn less than £21,000 a year and of these more than half earn less than £15,000 a year.
“Since the recession, public sector workers have endured years of pay freezes resulting in cuts to real wages.
“In the context of the economic upturn, Unite is spearheading demands for an increase of £1 per hour across all local authority employee grades. This would guarantee that no one working for the public sector would earn less than the Living Wage of £7.65, and would disproportionately benefit the lower paid, while making a real difference to the living standards of all our members. By putting more money in workers’ pockets, such an increase will also drive consumer demand and economic growth.
“Management’s insulting 1% pay offer was rejected by a massive 90 per cent of our members in a consultative ballot.
“Unite and the other three unions representing staff in local authorities are now balloting our membership on industrial action. This will close on June 30th.
“Unite is calling on management to review their stance in order to spare local communities the inevitable disruption resulting from a local authority strike. We are also asking members of the public to support their local workers by demanding that local politicians move on pay.
“Should members vote in favour of industrial action, it is likely to commence in the middle of July”, Mr Gregg concluded.