Thomas Bridge 09 October 2014

Pay strike called off by unions

Unions have suspended a planned local government pay strike, which could have seen around a million council employees taking to the streets next week.

Unison, GMB and Unite this afternoon announced they were postponing action planned for 14 October in order to consult their members on a new pay offer put forward by the Local Government Association (LGA).

Pay proposals from employers are understood to cover the period from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2016.

The three unions announced that they wanted to strengthen the ‘collective bargaining machinery’ covering local government and schools and ‘move quickly’ to tackle pay concerns with the LGA.

Earlier this month Unison advised employers to ‘reconsider’ pay proposals and deliver a deal backed by ‘greater certainty’ and the support of local authorities.

At the time, the LGA’s head of workforce Sarah Messenger had criticised the union for not allowing members to ‘make up their own minds’ on the details of the revised pay proposal.

Employers were left ‘disappointed’ in September when Unison refused a 2.2% pay increase and a new minimum hourly rate of £7. Yet this offer was made on the proviso that the October pay strike was called off, a deal rejected by the trade union.

Demonstrations were held across the country on 10 July over the 1% pay rise originally offered to local government workers.

Unison claims employees have seen their pay fall in value by 20% since 2010.

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