Dan Peters 11 June 2014

Council pay dispute could see 2m people strike

Council pay dispute could see 2m people strike image

Up to two million public sector workers could join a strike next month in a dispute over pay, a union official has predicted.

National officer of the GMB, Brian Strutton, said members will walk out on July 10 if they vote yes, and could be joined by teachers and civil servants who are also embroiled in long-running disputes with the Government.

Mr Strutton told the union’s national conference in Nottingham: ‘Local government workers are the lowest paid in the public sector.

‘Over half a million earn less than the Living Wage.

‘The employers should invest in their workforce for a change instead of freezing council tax.

‘The prospect is that up to two million public sector workers will be on strike on July 10.’

GMB members will start voting at the end of the week on whether to take industrial action.

Council workers belonging to unions Unison and Unite are also being balloted after a pay offer worth 1% for most local authority employees.

Unison’s head of local government, Heather Wakefield, said: ‘Our members are sick and tired of being taken for granted.

This year’s pay offer is insulting to hundreds of thousands of local government workers, the majority of whom are low paid, part-time women workers who have kept local services going through incredibly tough times.

‘Not only does low and diminishing pay create a gross injustice towards our hard-working members and their families, it also damages the local economy and vital community services.’

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