Unite the union notifies council of continuous strike action starting 6thSeptember 2022.
After the breakdown of talks involving all three representative trade unions, Unite, GMB and NIPSA, strike action is now set to proceed at Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council. Unite the union lodged confirmation that its approximately 200 members would commence continuous strike action starting 6th September 2022.
Unite has been seeking localized pay agreements with councils, the housing executive, the education authority and other education employers after the union rejected a national pay offer which failed to protect workers from the cost of living crisis. Industrial disputes which had saw extensive strikes at Mid-Ulster District Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council were ended after Unite members voted to accept a pay increase including a two pay point increase and a cash payment.
At other councils in Northern Ireland, strike actions are suspended to allow negotiations in order that management make suitable offers.
Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council is now set to join Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council where strike action is ongoing and involves all three representative trade unions: Unite, NIPSA and the GMB.
Unite’s General Secretary Sharon Graham expressed her support for the striking workers at Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council:
“With retail price inflation now above 12 percent and forecast to rise to 18 percent by the end of the year – workers are organising to win pay increases that provide real protection against the cost of living crisis. Unite is fighting to win inflation-plus pay increases for many of our members in many workplaces.
“While bosses at other councils have moved to offer decent pay increases and end strike action – those at Lisburn and Castlereagh have failed to make any offer at all. This leaves the workers there with no option but to strike. The Unite members at Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council can be confident that they have the full support of my union.”
The Unite regional officer for Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is Kieran Ellison who called on management at the council to follow the lead given by Mid Ulster and Derry City & Strabane:
“Unite members in the councils worked throughout the pandemic, they kept vital services going but now they are being treated appallingly by council bosses who want them to accept a huge cut to their incomes. That is never going to be accepted. Council bosses and the councillors in this council need to look to the example of other councils where this dispute has already been ended through an offer that protects the income of our members.”