Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/678/12352
Leeds Unison members decisively reject the council's final offer
A Leeds Unison steward
Leeds Unison members have opposed the council's latest offer by an overwhelming 85% with only 14.5% voting to accept, out of a turnout of 31.3%.
The result and 'return rate' has increased from the previous ballot in February. This follows pressure from activists to commit the leadership to stronger advice to members to reject the offer.
Leeds Unison will not sign a collective agreement to make changes to service conditions. However, members in GMB, Unite and Ucatt unions have voted to accept.
This will complicate the effectiveness of local government unions working collectively. It is likely that the council will impose the offer which will mean all staff being dismissed and re-engaged on new contracts with the changes to our service conditions.
Leeds Unison is committed to seek to ballot for strike action if the council imposes the changes. But it will be pressing to continue negotiations.
Many members have already experienced a deterioration of the quality of service; greater workloads, less staff to do the work, fewer working harder, and that's just through the Early Leavers Initiative.
Already there has been £90 million-worth of cuts to service budgets so that we offer less to service users and tougher access to potential service users. Sadly there have been some services that have been cut. For many of us these cuts are creeping in on the quiet. The council wants its employees to formally accept what it is already doing.
Leeds Unison must lead by example and be the first to start mobilising its members, preparing for industrial action now. We must make our members aware that these cuts are very real and that all jobs are potentially under threat.
In The Socialist 6 July 2011:
30th June strike and after
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party reviews