Together we are strong

Messages of support have been flooding in from around the union for local government and schools colleagues on strike today in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The union’s health service group says: “Unfortunately our members in health know only too well of the struggles that our local government colleagues are going through, many of whom lay awake at night worrying about how they will make ends meet.

“Now is the time to say enough is enough! We will support our colleagues all the way in their fight for fair pay.”

And a messge from the community service group reads: “The issue of low pay blights the not-for-profit sector as it does local government. 

Responsibility for poverty pay lies with the government’s politically motivated austerity programme, and our common aspiration for fair pay is also a building block of a real economic recovery.  Good luck on July 10!”

And speaking on behalf of water, environment and transport workers, service group chair Ruth Davies says: ” Members across the water, environment and transport service group fully support all those members taking part in the action.

“UNISON members deserve a fair pay rise, not the threat of at least four more years of public sector pay restraint and below-inflation pay rises which are eroding the spending power of our members incomes.

“We wish our fellow members every success.”

Colleagues in energy simply express their ” full support and solidarity for those members taking industrial action on t10 July. They are in our thoughts and we wish them every success in their actions.”

The police and justice service group sends “strong support and best wishes” and notes “as police, probation and CAFCASS members prepare for our own pay talks, we recognise that a successful local government strike will deliver a clear message to government that public sectors workers are prepared to stand up for decent  pay.

“Local government workers in councils and schools deliver vital services to our communities; we join with you in demanding fair pay now.”

And the union’s retired members chair David Kippest sends wishes for “a very successful day of action” “if there is anything that we as retired members can do to help our working colleagues please do not hesitate to ask us.”

At the opposite end of the age spectrum, young members’ forum chair Helen Oliver says: “This is a vitally important dispute – not just in terms of our members being paid fairly, but also in terms of their families, their communities, and the services they provide.

“For young workers in particular, who are often on the lowest pay, it means an opportunity to tell the employers that we cannot afford to continue on the basis of poverty pay.

“We say ‘no’ to poverty pay, and ‘yes’ to action to win a fair deal.”

For the national Black members’ committee, Margaret Greer says: “We recognise that we are all ‘worth it’ and that we are strongest when workers unite across the country and show our strength in UNISON.”

And LGBT committee co-chairs Dierdre Costigan and Loise Ashworth write: “We recognise that we are all ‘worth it’ and that we are strongest when workers unite across the country and show our strength in UNISON.”

UNISON members are overwhelmingly women, especially in local government. The union’s national women’s committee says: “We have fought long and hard for equal pay in local government, but pay freezes and below inflation pay rises are decimating our members’ lives – particularly our low paid women members. 

“We stand beside you today in taking action for a decent pay rise.” 

Keep up to date: Our #J10 rolling blog

Five ways to get involved on 10 July

Using social media for #J10

Sign up to our Worth It pay campaign