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October 14 Strike Update

UNISON Local Government & Schools Pay Strike October 14

All Three Unions Prepared For Strike Action

UNISON, Unite and GMB have now submitted the formal seven day legal notice for a one day strike on Tuesday 14 October. There had been speculation about different positions being adopted by the three unions, but all three are working together to prepare for strike action.

In Birmingham we are calling all members balloted for strike action, in the Council and Schools, to go on strike, join a picket at your workplace, or join us outside the new Library Of Birmingham from 7 – 10am, then to come to a members meeting at 10.30 – 12.00 noon at the Birmingham Irish Centre. We will be discussing the 6,000 job cuts, Privatisation of Care Services (MOSE), Privatisation of Leisure, Downgrading , Review of PDRs and  Harmonisation of Schools & Council Policies.

Download Branch Newsletter #4 

There are also talks at a national level to seek a formal offer which is an improvement on the pay proposals made last week.

UNISON Calls For Reconsideration Of Pay Proposals

UNISON is calling on local government employers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to "reconsider" their current pay proposals and come forward with "improved ones which begin to tackle the hardship facing all of our members."

The call comes in a letter to the Local Government Association's head of workforce Sarah Messanger, from UNISON's head of local government Heather Wakefield.

Ms Messanger wrote to council chief executives at the end of last week saying the LGA had made a 'long-term' proposal to end the current pay dispute.

This suggested a one off lump-sum payment, and a higher percentage increase from 1 January 2015 to 31 March 2016 and asked unions to call off the next strike action planned for 14 October.
However, it was not a formal offer and had not been signed off by councils.

UNISON's NJC committee, which represents the affected workers, looked at the proposal, and Ms Wakefield's letter to the LGA noted that there were "difficult issues facing UNISON's members and leadership in considering proposals which appear to be aimed at dividing the workforce. I do not believe this would be helpful for any of us."

Ms Wakefield wrote that the NJC committee "spent a full day considering carefully the revised pay proposals. Key to their decision was the lack of a formal proposal not yet agreed by employers. Our members needed more certainty in circumstances which would have required UNISON to reballot all our school members and other outsourced members should employers, when consulted, not agree to the repackaged proposals.

"The other key element of concern was that the majority of UNISON members would get less than 1%" this year.”

Joint Secretaries Met – Thursday 2 October

The NJC joint secretaries met on Thursday 2 October. UNISON pushed hard for the Local Government Association (LGA) to recognise the importance of an improved offer for our members, and the response was fairly positive, though no further proposals were tabled.

The joint secretaries' meeting was followed by a separate meeting between the employers' side, the LGA regional directors and senior elected members.

UNISON understands that our call for improved proposals was not rejected and that further discussions are now taking place between LGA political group leaders.

A meeting of UNISON’s NJC negotiators will take place on Thursday 9 October.

We are awaiting the outcome of those discussions and will obviously let members know as soon as there any developments - positive or otherwise.

Issued Tuesday 7 October

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