Local councils given pay deadline to avert strike action

Local
councils have been given until June 10 to double an annual 3 per cent pay offer
or unions will ballot staff on strike action.

Senior
union officials from Unison, GMB and the T&G are meeting with local
government representatives tomorrow (Tues 30 April) in a bid to re-open pay
talks, although they say they are not optimistic.

"Everyone
wants to avoid industrial action," said GMB national secretary Mick
Graham. "But unless the employers are prepared to continue to negotiations
with an open mind it is difficult to see what other options are available.
Local government workers are among the lowest paid in the land and the growing
discrepancy between public and private sector pay must be addressed."

Jack
Dromey, national organiser for local government at the T&G, said: "The
national average wage is £19,000, yet more than two-thirds of our members earn
less than £13,000. No wonder then that when they see 60 per cent rises for
councillors and the rise of the ‘fat cat’ chief executives they say enough is
enough."

By Paul Nelson

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