William Eichler 28 March 2018

Bromley library staff strike over ‘paltry’ pay offer

A number of Bromley’s library staff went on strike today in response to what their union describes as a ‘paltry and insulting’ pay offer.

Around 36 workers — under a quarter of the area’s library staff — decided to strike after the breakdown of pay talks on Monday between Unite and Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), which runs the library service on behalf of Bromley council.

‘Talks broke down on the issue of pay, and the insulting and paltry offer that GLL came up with,’ said Unite regional officer Onay Kasab.

‘We began talks on a compromise based on the local government pay offer, which is only 2% for most people, but with higher increases for some of the lower paid.

‘However, the company yesterday confirmed it cannot commit to this formula. Therefore, having transferred out from local government in November 2017, our members are already being penalised and seeing their pay cut.’

‘GLL claims it is the UK’s largest leisure charitable social enterprise and also claims to be a staff-owned trust,’ Mr Kasab.

‘Yet the staff who supposedly own the company are told by the bosses that their pay will be eroded after less than six months of being taken over by GLL.’

A spokesperson for GLL responded: ‘It is most regrettable that after keeping dialogue with Unite open to the 11th hour, the union is continuing with plans for strike action.

‘Unite represents under a quarter of library staff in Bromley and our priority is to maintain a “business as usual” service – all Bromley libraries are open today.

‘GLL is a worker-owned charitable social enterprise which puts the community and our staff at the heart of our public services.

‘We have committed to pay London Living Wage in Bromley and to meet the 2% NJC headline rate. The union demands are not sustainable.’

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