‘Four in five’ council staff do not back strike call

Local
government employers claim that four out of five council staff have not backed
the call to strike over the annual pay increase.

The
Employers’ Organisation for Local Government claims that only 22 per cent of
Unison members voted for strike action (56 per cent in favour with 40 per cent
turnout). It also claims that in many councils there is low union membership –
in the south many authorities have less than a third union membership – meaning
that at least four in five of local government’s 1.2 million employees have not
voted in favour of a strike. Unison is the largest trade union in local
government.

Councillor
Brian Baldwin, chair of the employers negotiating team, said: “The unions have
refused to release the actual numbers who voted. They have only released
percentages. But judging by their own percentages, it seems that at least four
out of five council workers have not voted to strike.

“Strike
action will achieve nothing. Authorities do not have any more money in their
budgets than the 3 per cent on offer. Nothing in the ballot result changes
that. There is no more money today than yesterday. Making a mark on a ballot
paper does not change arithmetic. It is not a magic money marker. It cannot
conjure up more cash.

“The  people who will suffer if the unions go
ahead with strike action will be the public and the strikers themselves, who
will lose pay for every day on strike.

“In
any industrial action local authorities will do all they can to minimise disruption
and continue to provide services to the public. The final offer of 3 per cent
remains on the table any time the unions want to start talking again.”

The
unions have demanded a 6 per cent increase.

By Paul Nelson

Comments are closed.