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Coordinated strike action planned against pay freeze

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has backed coordinated strike action against a two-year pay freeze on public sector workers.

At its annual conference, unions were planning strike action to take place in the spring if negotiations over pay break down. GMB and Unison have formed an alliance which means nearly 1.5m health and local government employees could strike.

The teaching unions NUT and NASUWT have announced an indefinite work to rule protest from September 26, when they will no longer supervise students during lunch breaks and will stop providing cover for colleagues.

The TUC backed a motion urging “full support to all groups of workers in the private or public sector who take industrial action against cuts or attacks on pay, jobs, pensions or conditions of service and co-ordinating unions taking strike action”.

Dave Prentis, the Unison general secretary, said: “If employers refuse to negotiate, if the attacks continue, we will move to the co-ordinated action, which is called for in this composite. Now is the time for action.”

Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, urged action ahead of that planned for the spring. He said: “We need a sense of urgency to turn the words in this resolution into action before it’s too late.”

David Cameron’s official spokesperson said: “Obviously we think that strike action benefits no one. At the present time, our economy faces significant challenges. What we need is for the country to come together to deal with these challenges.

“We have put in place a freeze on public sector pay for two years. We don’t intend to reopen that decision.”

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Image c. N Hall


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