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Strike Ballot For Council And Schools Members

Friday, May 16, 2014

GMB Strike Ballot In Local Councils And Schools In England, Wales And Northern Ireland As 83% Of Members Reject 1% Pay Offer

Ballot in June and if the result is positive we plan to strike on 10th July  as members faced with years of pay freezes, low pay, cuts and job losses say enough is enough says GMB

GMB is to move to an official strike ballot for members in local councils and schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland after a pay offer of just over 1% was overwhelmingly rejected in a consultative ballot. See notes to editors for GMB release on the consultative ballot with details of the offer from the employers.

GMB asked members to accept the offer or to reject it and support moving to an official ballot for industrial action. 83% voted for the second option.

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said “GMB members in councils and schools have spoken loud and clear: they do not want another low pay offer and they are prepared to do something about it.

Members have asked the union to instigate an official strike ballot which the GMB Executive has today approved. We will be balloting members in June and if the result is positive we plan to strike on 10th July.

Industrial action is not our member’s preference but faced with years pay freezes, low pay, cuts and job losses they are saying enough is enough.”

End

Contact Brian Strutton 07860 606 137 or Wales 029 2049 1260 or GMB press office 07974 252 823 or 07921 289880

Notes to Editors

GMB press release of 1 April 2014

GMB TO ADVISE MEMBERS IN ENGLAND, WALES AND NORTHERN IRELAND TO REJECT 1% COUNCIL PAY OFFER AND CONSULT OVER INDUSTRIAL ACTION

It is time to say 'enough is enough' and we are confident our members want to show their anger and frustration by rejecting the paltry 1% offer and opting instead for industrial action says GMB

GMB, the union for local government workers, held a national meeting of shop stewards and workplace representatives on 31sty March to consider the 1% pay offer for local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  See notes to editors for copy of the employers press release on the offer.

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said “The national meeting of senior lay representatives unanimously agreed to consult our 220,000 GMB on the offer. The meeting agreed to recommend that members reject this offer and that they be asked if they will support industrial action.

Council staff have had only a 1% pay rise in the last five years and it is a terrible indictment that the national minimum wage has caught up with them.

It's scandalous to think that people who work for Councils could not legally be paid any less, yet day in and day out they serve their communities in schools and academies, care homes, emptying bins and cleaning streets, protecting vulnerable children and all the other jobs they do.

Local Authorities have had their budgets slashed by this Coalition government but have also accepted council tax freezes and squirrelled cash away in reserves.

The net result is that Council staff have had 18% real terms pay cuts and suffered 440,000 job losses.

GMB believes it is high time to say 'enough is enough' and we are confident our members want to show their anger and frustration by rejecting the paltry 1% offer and opting instead for industrial action."

End

Notes to editors

Press release from employers 20th March 2014

COUNCIL EMPLOYEES PAY OFFER ANNOUNCED

Council employees have been offered a pay increase from 1 April 2014. The majority of employees - those on salaries starting at £14,880 per annum - would receive an uplift of one per cent, with those on lower salaries receiving a slightly higher increase.

The National Employers, who negotiate pay on behalf of 350 local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, made the offer to unions today. It will affect over 1 million employees.

Cllr Sian Timoney, Chair of the Employers’ Side, said:

“There is a broad consensus among councils that there should be a pay offer to staff this year.

“At a time when local government is tackling the biggest cuts in living memory, this offer balances our commitment to increase the pay of our hardworking employees with the responsibility we have to address the significant financial pressures we face.

“We believe that this is a fair deal for employees, given the limits of what we can afford, and a fair deal for the taxpayers and residents who use and pay for the vital services which local government provides.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

If agreed, the total increase to the local government paybill in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be £164.52m.

This pay offer does not apply to council chief executives, senior officers, teachers or firefighters, who are covered by separate national pay arrangements.

The National Joint Council negotiates the pay, terms and conditions of staff in local authorities. It agrees an annual uplift to the national pay spine, on which each individual council decides where to place its employees. Each council takes into account a number of factors such as job size and local labour market conditions when deciding an employee’s salary. There are no nationally determined jobs or pay grades in local government, unlike in other parts of the public sector.

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