Tuesday, 20 May 2008

UNISON is calling upon all our members in local government to vote “YES” in the official ballot for strike action in opposition to the employers’ “final offer” of 2.45% – an offer which falls well below the rate of inflation and amounts to a pay cut in real terms.

The strike ballot starts on 30 May.Following a national consultation exercise, UNISON members have decided to reject the pay offer from the local government employers,The offer is to increase all but the lowest pay points by 2.45%.

The Retail Price Index is currently over 4% - and prices of many basic commodities are going up far faster. The average family is spending 20% more on food compared with a year ago!

If we accepted another pay rise below the rate of inflation we would be accepting another year in which we could afford to buy less at the end of the year than we could at the beginning.

The decision to reject the pay offer is a decision to reject a pay cut.In the past – in 1989 and 2002 – national strike action by local government workers has forced the employers to increase “final” pay offers. We’ve done it before and we can do it again.We are not alone.

The Government are trying to force all public servants to accept pay rises below the rate of inflation.This has already lead to disputes with teachers, college lecturers and civil servants.Money can be found when the Government want to find it to bail out Northern Rock or to correct unpopular decisions on tax. Money could be found for fair pay for public servants.We can coordinate our campaign for fair pay with other groups of workers to maximise pressure on the Government and employers.If members vote for action, UNISON will call a two day strike in July – if the employers do not back down further strike action will be called.

Vote YES for fair pay – vote YES to strike action!

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