UNISON’s local government and school support workers have voted yes to strike action in a dispute over pay. A national strike is now set for Thursday 10 July. The low paid, mainly women, workers have faced a 3 year pay freeze and have now only been offered a 1% pay rise.
The lowest are paid just above the statutory national minimum wage and did not even receive the £250 that Chancellor George Osborne promised they would get two years running.
Voting was as follows:
For: 49,836 (58.7%)
Against: 35,062 (41.3%)
UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said:
“We have a clear majority for strike action so a one day strike will go ahead on 10 July. We expect to be joined in that action by other unions in local government and will be campaigning amongst our members for maximum support on that day.
“Many of our members are low paid women earning barely above the minimum wage, who care for our children, our elderly and our vulnerable and they deserve better treatment than they have had at the hands of this Government. The employers must get back into talks immediately to avoid a damaging dispute.”
“These workers care for our elderly, clean our streets, feed and educate our school children and keep our libraries running, but they receive no recognition in their pay packets. They are mainly low paid women workers, stressed and demoralised, and they deserve better from their employers and from this Government. This is the group that has borne the brunt of the Government’s austerity agenda.
The result of the ballot is as follows:
Question: Are you prepared to take part in a strike?
Total number of votes cast in the ballot: 85,020
Total number answering “Yes” to the above question: 49,836
Total number answering “No” to the above question: 35,062
Total number of spoiled voting papers: 122
See detailed information about the pay campaign here: https://camdenunison.org.uk/2014/05/06/1-pay-offer-rejected-say-yes-to-action/