Local government staff vote for strike over pay

Local
government staff have this afternoon (Friday) voted overwhelming in favour of
strike action over their annual pay rise.

Six
out of 10 of local government’s one million workers involved in the ballot voted
to reject the employers 3 per cent pay offer and start a summer of strike
action on 17July 2002.

The
unions are demanding a 6 per cent or £1,750 pay rise to bring the minimum wage
in the sector to £11,017 a year.

Heather
Wakefield, Union’s national secretary, said: "Our members have voted for
industrial action because they are sick of being treated as the poor relations
of the public sector. Their case for a realistic pay rise is indisputable.

"The
employers should be left in no doubt that our action will continue until they
return a realistic offer."

Mick
Graham, GMB national secretary, said: "Local government workers delivering
a quality service deserve quality pay. The fact that local authorities have
recruitment and retention problems can only be addressed by decent pay."

By
Paul Nelson

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