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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 November 2021

Council workers ballot on pay offer that's really a cut

Unison pay strike, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson

Unison pay strike, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Bill Green, Unison member (personal capacity)

My union branch undertook a survey after 12 months of lockdown. It found that two-thirds of staff were working more than the set 36 hours a week. More than half had experienced stress symptoms, and almost half were actively thinking about changing their jobs. Bullying and inflexible managers were rife.

And that's before we even come on to pay!

After a 'final' offer from the national employers of 1.75%, Unison held a consultative ballot. The offer is, in reality, a pay cut, with inflation running towards 4 %. In my branch, only eight people voted that this was acceptable. We are now gearing up for a national ballot for strike action. There is a feeling that someone, somewhere needs telling how bad things are for many of our very low-paid members - as no one is listening. This strike ballot might just be the way our employers and the government can be made to listen.

The pandemic has brought a new understanding to people of how important their jobs are. Whether you are a care worker, struggling to get around your clients every day, or school support staff, or someone overseeing vaccination and testing centres, or just back-up staff, you now know that your job is crucial to making society work. They can't do it without us. So why are they so reluctant to pay us a decent wage? Because to pay workers a decent wage cuts away at the money this corrupt government is quietly filtering away to their cronies who fund the Conservative Party and deliver worthless test-and-trace and PPE contracts.

This could definitely be the winter where low-paid council workers join with others to force a decent wage rise for their efforts.

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In The Socialist 10 November 2021:


COP26

Capitalism's COP26 failure: socialist planning vital

Thousands march in Glasgow and elsewhere to save the planet


Housing

Socialist planning to meet housing need

75 years after the first new town


News

Fight together for a pay rise

Council workers ballot on pay offer that's really a cut

School staff need a pay rise

Harsh Tory regime for benefit claimants and workers

Tories under pressure in bid to remove pension triple lock


What we think

Sleaze and pay a toxic mix for Tories


Socialism 2021

Why I'm coming to Socialism 2021


Workplace news

CWU conference debates political strategy

RMT AGM: Delegates focus on the looming battles

University workers vote for action in two disputes

Sheffield bin workers strike: "End rubbish pay!"

Support for all-out scaffs strike spreads

Weetabix workers escalate action in crunch dispute


International news

Portugal's government falls: Left must adopt a new course


Review

John Barnes on class and capitalism. What's missing?


 

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Related links:

Council workers:

triangleCarmarthenshire: Fighting for trade union recognition at council-owned company

triangleNorwich City Council workers vote for strike action over broken promises on pay and conditions

triangleThurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

triangleSouth London council workers vote to strike

triangleSupport the Tower Hamlets council workers, vote for Hugo Pierre!

Workers:

triangleSupport uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

triangleHistoric victory of India's farmers

triangleThe struggle for accessible workplaces and an inclusive society

triangleChartism: The world's first working-class movement

Pay:

triangleTesco warehouse workers ballot for strike action

triangleSage care home workers' pay victory

trianglePanasonic workers strike against pay freeze

Council:

triangleHackney TUSC: Hackney needs jobs, homes and services

triangleNorthampton: Phoney consultation to mask cuts

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