UNISON’s local government and school support workers have voted yes to strike action in a dispute over pay. The low paid, mainly women, workers have faced a 3 year pay freeze and have now been offered a 1% pay rise.
The lowest are paid just above the statutory national minimum wage and did not even receive the £250 that Chancellor George Osborne promised they would get two years running.
* Voting was as follows:
For: 49,836 (58.7%)
Against: 35,062 (41.3%)
The union’s national committee will now be meeting to decide next steps.
UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said:
“These workers care for our elderly, clean our streets, feed and educate our school children and keep our libraries running, but they receive no recognition in their pay packets. They are mainly low paid women workers, stressed and demoralised, and they deserve better from their employers and from this Government. This is the group that has borne the brunt of the Government’s austerity agenda.
“We will now be discussing next steps. But we call on the employers to get back into talks to agree a fair deal for local government and schoolsupport workers”.
The result of the ballot is as follows:
Question: Are you prepared to take part in a strike?
Total number of votes cast in the ballot: 85,020
Total number answering “Yes” to the above question: 49,836
Total number answering “No” to the above question: 35,062
Total number of spoiled voting papers: 122