Latest Public Sector News

21.05.14

Protests today over local government and school support pay

Local government and school workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are holding protests today about this year’s 1% pay offer, ahead of an official strike ballot this week.

More than 600,000 Unison members are being balloted.  

The lunchtime protests “will highlight the dire state of local government pay and the disastrous impact of government cuts on local jobs and services”, the union said.

This year’s 1% pay offer for 90% of local government and school support staff follows pay freezes in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and below-inflation rises in eight of the last 17 years.

Heather Wakefield, Unison’s head of local government, said: “School and council workers are tired of the Government treating them like they are at the bottom of the pile and they are tired of going that extra mile for worse than nothing. In the wake of Government cuts and almost 500,000 job losses in councils alone, they continue to educate and support children in schools, maintain crucial local services, keep our communities clean and safe places to live and protect the homeless and vulnerable.

“The overwhelming decision by Unison’s local government and school members to reject this year’s pay offer and move to a strike ballot is a clear sign of the strength of feeling amongst our members over the issue of pay. All local government and school workers deserve to be paid at least the Living Wage (£7.65 an hour, and £8.80 in London).

“Unison is seeking a £1.20 an hour minimum increase, which would bring the bottom rate of pay in local government to the level of the Living Wage, and help restore some of the pay lost across the whole workforce. More than half of the cost of the union’s claim would be recouped through increased tax and National Insurance take.”

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