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Posted on 30 April 2008 at 0:00 GMT

Lincoln rejects insulting pay offer

With bills rising, council tax hikes and petrol going through the roof it's little wonder that council workers in Lincoln feel as if they are getting poorer. When the employers offer a below-inflation pay award of 2.45% then you know that you really are!

Marc Glasscoe, branch secretary, Lincoln City Unison, personal capacity

With inflation running at 4.1% and the cost of basic necessities rising at an even faster rate, a pay offer like this is nothing short of insulting. It was against this backdrop that Lincoln City Unison conducted their consultative ballot among members.

The day before teachers, lecturers and civil servants took action over their own disputes, we asked our members a simple question: are you prepared to accept this offer? The members were quite clear in their answer: "No, we are not!"

With a turnout of 39% (only 32% voted in last year's local elections in Lincoln) the members made their feelings known. 96% of those who voted rejected the employers' pay offer. There was no mood for compromise, with members saying that it was time we all stood up for what we are due.

The message from Unison members during the ballot was clear. They were ready to take the fight to the leadership, and they were ready to go out on strike, for two days or more if they have to. Their only concern was if the leadership were to let them down again. Many of our members remember the disastrous mistakes of last year, when the union leaders led us up the hill, only to lead us back down again.

This result was a massive indictment of the government's public-sector pay policy.

With 96% of voting members in Lincoln rejecting this offer, the message to the union leaders cannot be clearer. We are ready for a fight and we are ready now. It's time we took the battle to the government and the employers, and this time we intend to win!

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