Unions urge cave-in over local government wage demands

The
Government has been urged to step in to prevent this week’s local government
strike action.

Unison,
the UK’s largest union, wants the Government to give local authorities the
money to improve its members’ pay.

Local
government staff are set to strike this Wednesday over the employers’ 3 per
cent annual pay increase offer. The unions are demanding a 6 per cent rise.

Dave
Prentis, general secretary at Unison, said: "It is shameful that the
Government seems to be standing on the sidelines and doing nothing to prevent
the first-ever national strike of local government workers. They should stop
sticking their heads in the sand and pretending this strike has nothing to do
with them."

Prentis
claims that if Gordon Brown increases the local authorities grant by 2.1 per
cent then councils will have the money to meet the unions’ 6 per cent demand.

"There
is no doubt that local councils need extra funding, because every person in
this country relies on local government services," he said.

By Paul Nelson

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