The time has come to make a stand in the fight for better pay and conditions. Read on for more information about the pay offer, and why UNISON nationally and in Camden wants you to vote Yes for action in the official strike ballot beginning on 23 May.
Local government workers have not had a real pay increase for more than five years – even before the Coalition government came into office in May 2010. For most of us the real value of basic pay has plunged by 18%. We also know that five years of pay restraint have not halted massive job losses or saved services across local government: 950 posts axed in Camden alone in the past four years and some 350,000 to 400,000 over the same period.
In the recent consultation on the council employers’ paltry 1% offer – still another real pay cut – all 11 UNISON regions and 71% of members voted to reject. In Camden 87% said ‘NO’ to the employers’ offer. UNISON’s NJC committee has now decided to launch an official strike ballot of some 600,000 members in local authorities and schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The nationwide ballot opens on Friday 23 May and will close on Friday 20 June. If you have not received your ballot paper by 31 May, please contact UNISONDirect on 0800 0857 857.
In the event of a ‘yes’ vote a one-day strike should take place in early July. One day, though, is very unlikely to win any real concessions, so further action is on the cards for September. The action is likely to include the other NJC unions, the GMB and Unite, and there is serious talk of co-ordinating action with the largest teachers’ union, the NUT.
Branch officers have organised a series of meetings to discuss the ballot and UNISON’s ‘WORTH IT!’ pay campaign with members across the Council.
Meeting dates and venues include:
- Wednesday 14 May, Crowndale Centre, Alex Jack Room, 12.30 – 2.00 PM
- Thursday 15 May, Town Hall, Council Chamber, 12 noon – 2.00 PM
If you would like to request a union meeting in your workplace please contact your convener or the branch office.
Why this matters to all of us
New contract, old contract, craftworker, youth worker – you’re all in the ballot. Despite the move to Performance-Related Pay (PRP) last year, Camden Council has insisted it remains an employer within the NJC and has agreed in writing to implement NJC awards as part of the overall package for all those on PRP contracts getting ratings of ‘2’ and above. In addition, the pay matrix for additional rewards is partly shaped by what happens with the NJC.
Even if pay is not the biggest concern for you, personally, a strong Yes vote in Camden sends a message to the Council that we are prepared to stand up for our conditions and can discourage further local attacks on jobs and services.
BOTH UNISON NATIONALLY AND YOUR CAMDEN BRANCH COMMITTEE ARE URGING MEMBERS TO VOTE AND VOTE ‘YES’ IN THIS IMPORTANT BALLOT
What you can do
- Check that your details held by the union are up-to-date at camdenunison.org.uk/update
- Vote and vote “yes” in the ballot
- See our website or our ballot FAQ for more information: http://camdenunison.org.uk/tags/pay
- If you are not yet in UNISON, join today!
- If you are in UNISON, encourage a colleague to join
- Print and distribute our leaflet leaflet here to colleagues
- Volunteer to be a shop steward or to distribute union information in your team. Talk to your convenor on the branch office for more information