UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

1% in Local Government - the only credible option is to reject and fight

A pay offer that is one third of the rate of inflation would be unacceptable at the best of times. But in a service where endemic low pay has been well documented by the NJC unions - GMB, UNISON and Unite - and where 65% of the workforce earning under £21,000 per annum were denied in successive years the £250 rise sanctioned by Chancellor Osborne to mitigate the Con Dem pay freeze - it is wholly inadequate.

UNISON is now consulting branches and members on whether or not to accept the offer as 'the best achievable by negotiation' or reject and commit to a programme of sustained industrial action.

In Scotland, UNISON members when consulted spoke decisively to reject and are moving towards an industrial action ballot.

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales there is now the opportunity to do likewise. UNISON head of local government Heather Wakefield hit the nail on the head in a recent Public Finance article: 'It seems that, without a fight, there will be little scope for sector-wide pay negotiation at all until after the 2015/16 pay round' - the choice is in our own hands.

If our opposition to the pay freeze and low pay in local government are to have any credibility with our members and the employers, now is the time to to turn words into deeds and campaign for an improved offer: