Mark Whitehead 23 June 2023

Surrey County Council staff to be balloted for strike action

Surrey County Council staff to be balloted for strike action image
Image: Daniel Bond/Shutterstock

Thousands of staff at Surrey County Council are to be balloted for strike action in a dispute over pay, their union has announced.

Unison says refuse collectors, social workers, teaching assistants and librarians are among those being asked to vote for industrial action over a pay offer from the council that falls short of price rises.

The current pay offer would mean the lowest paid staff would receive between £1,300 and £1,700, it said.

This would mean a 5% increase in the council's overall pay bill, but is below the 12% asked for by the union.

Paul Couchman of Unison said: 'After years of below-inflation pay increases and with the soaring cost of living, staff are struggling.

'There’s still no end in sight to spiralling bills and staff feel strongly that enough is enough.

'It’s not too late for the council to think again and improve its pay offer.'

However the council's leader Tim Oliver said it was important to any pay offer 'within our means'.

He said the offer was between 7.8% for the lowest grades and 4.5% for the highest, with a minimum wage of £11.05 per hour – 15p per hour higher than the Real Living Wage.

'It’s disappointing that the offer has been rejected, however we absolutely recognise the impact of the current cost of living pressures on our hard working and dedicated staff.'

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