Unite serves notice of strike ballot of workers at Local Authorities, Education Authority and Housing Executive

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham encourages local authority and education workers to vote for strike action

Northern Ireland Unite members to vote on industrial action alongside council workers in England and Wales

Union urges members to vote yes for 10 percent after strong rejection of employers’ insulting 1.75 percent pay offer

Unite today has served notice of a ballot of its members in Northern Ireland’s councils, the Education Authority and Housing Executive on strike action in pursuit of a 10 percent pay increase. The ballot will open on Monday 24th January and remain open for four weeks. 

The disaggregated strike ballot was called after the union rejected an insulting below-inflation 1.75 percent pay offer for 2020-2021. Workers are seeking a 10 percent increase to address historic wage erosion as pay deals have fallen ever further behind inflation. With the cost of living surging above seven percent in recent days, workers are desperate to defend themselves.

Any industrial action coming is likely to heavily impact waste collection services, school bus schedules and housing executive maintenance.

The union’s General Secretary, Sharon Graham, encouraged Unite members to use their ballots, make a stand for a 10 percent pay rise, and vote ‘yes’.

“Since last April the cost of living has risen dramatically to more than 7 percent and workers are now confronted with a cost of living catastrophe. The 10 percent pay claim we tabled for 2020-2021 reflects our members’ desire to win back some of what has been lost with similar below inflation pay deals in recent years. These workers are frontline, essential workers and deserve pay reflecting their commitment throughout the pandemic. It’s time that dedication is reflected in a decent pay reward.”

Unite Regional Officer Gareth Scott

The lead Unite Regional Officer for local authority and education workers in Northern Ireland, Gareth Scott, also encouraged his members to vote ‘Yes’ pointing to the union’s £35 million strike fund.

“Unite is determined to win improved pay for our members. That’s why we have built up a strike fund which is currently sitting at £35 million. Unite full rate of strike pay for eligible members is £70 a day which is there to help avert the worst hardships. Members should be confident of voting yes – in the knowledge that they have the backing of the most powerful trade union on these islands.

“We are seeing an unprecedented surge in the cost of living. Workers have to get organised and take industrial action to defend themselves and their families from falling into poverty. Our members working in local councils, for the Education Authority and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive have the power to bring employers to the table and win a 10 percent increase.”

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1 Response to Unite serves notice of strike ballot of workers at Local Authorities, Education Authority and Housing Executive

  1. This is heartening to read this article
    Yes the wages that all public workers has gotten worsening over the last ten years and particularly with the pandemic.
    In the education authority professional drivers are now near on the minimum hourly rate of just £10.49 a pound above the minimum hourly rate.
    Twenty years ago an ordinary driving licence would have been all you needed to be a school busdriver but that has change in many ways a good thing with the interduction of the CPC certificate of professional competency with exams for new proteinal HGV and PCV Drivers with compulsory CPC training day with year until the professional driver decides to retire.
    Until now I don’t believe their their efforts and expectations and experiences as not been regonised.
    Maybe that is why new blood are sitting on their hands and not taking on the challenge of a career of being a professional driver ie HGV /PCV because of the exams and the ecspence just to be paid just above the minimum hourly rate it’s time it was regonised.
    But yes not forgetting all our colleagues in the public sector have had enough of lip service.
    As I’ve always said the lower your salary the lower your thought of…
    It’s time that we all where given a little respect after all where would the country be without our service we have provided over the years?
    Thank you

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