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'FOUR OUT OF FIVE COUNCIL WORKERS DO NOT BACK STRIKE CALL'

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Local government employers today calculated that four out of five council workers have not backed the call to strik...
Local government employers today calculated that four out of five council workers have not backed the call to strike action, in the ballot announced on Friday.

Brian Baldwin, chair of the employers negotiating team, said:

'The unions have refused to release the actual numbers who voted. They have only released percentages. But judging by their own percentages, it seems that at least four out of five council workers have not voted to strike.

'I think that the unions ought to tell the public, whose services they plan to disrupt, the actual figures. The fact they have not suggests that they know there is not a great deal of support for a strike.

'Strike action will achieve nothing. Authorities do not have more money in their budgets than the 3% on offer. Nothing in the ballot result changes that. There is no more money today than yesterday. Making a mark on a ballot paper does not change arithmetic. It is not a magic money marker. It cannot conjure up more cash.

'The people who will suffer if the unions go ahead with strike action will be the public and the strikers themselves, who will lose pay for every day on strike.

'In any industrial action local authorities will do all they can to minimise disruption and continue to provide services to the public. The final offer of 3% remains on the table any time the unions want to start talking again.'

Notes

1. Unison are by far the largest trade union in local government. Yet even then only 22.4% of their members voted for strike action (56% in favour with 40% turnout). Couple with the fact that in many councils there is low union membership - in the south many authorities have less than a third union membership- means that at least four in five workers have not voted in favour of a strike.

2. 1.2 million council workers are covered in these negotiations.

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