We haven’t been able to email members with the result of our national pay ballot because of IT problems, so we decided to post the results for our branch here.
Our main ballot of Camden employees including the community schools was a turnout of 42.19% with a YES vote of 84.64%.
So very mixed feeling – obviously, it’s gutting that we didn’t quite make it over 50%. Lots of you in the branch and who come to our meetings regularly put in loads of work – so for instance based on our own info, we had turnouts over 80% in DDS and Housing Officers (big up the reps there!). We also had some fantastic turnouts in schools, again over 80% in some.
Our weakness was the areas where we don’t have reps/people we could ask to be ballot rep and chase up their team – so we know what to work on next time. The phoning definitely made a difference and members seemed to like a call from the branch, which will also help in the future. One important action out of this is that we spend time over the summer/autumn making contacts in those areas so we have more organisation.
We are one of the branches with quite a lot of ‘NJC’ members, and so our result really is a testament to the work of reps and pay campaigners – and you can tell the strength of feeling by the huge YES vote for strike action!
We haven’t yet got the results of our non-Camden schools, I think it’s likely that we will have got over 50% in some of those, but let’s see, and we need to look how many members we have in each of them etc.
In the midst of being frustrated that we got so close, there are a couple of important positives. In the last month alone, over 60 people have joined the branch, and hopefully having joined whilst we’re campaigning about action over pay will be up for getting involved. Some of the new members are in the areas where we aren’t so well organised, so will make a difference there. Also, this is the best result we’ve had certainly for about 20 years (of course the 50% turnout wasn’t relevant for most of that time) and almost double what we got in the last official ballot, so is definitely something we can build on. And it’s a good enough turnout, and YES vote, that management will see we aren’t a pushover – if there were to be a local issue, we could get over 50%, and they’ll recognise that too.
UNISON is now waiting for the outcome of the Unite Local Government pay ballot before announcing next steps.
So all in all, we should of course be gutted that we haven’t got over 50%, but also should be very proud of how close we came and the work we’ve done. We can have a good discussion our meetings about how we can build on it. And don’t forget our traffic wardens! More details about their dispute coming soon.