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LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIONS TO BALLOT ON STRIKE OVER PAY

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The three local government unions - Unison, GMB and the Transport and ...
The three local government unions - Unison, GMB and the Transport and

General Workers' Union - will start balloting their members for industrial

action in support of a 6% pay increase from June 10 unless the employers

make a realistic offer.

Senior officials from the three unions are meeting with the employers

tomorrow and will be seeking to have the pay talks reopened but are not

optimistic.

Local government employers rejected the unions' claim for a 6% pay rise -

making a final offer of 3%. Members of the three unions have overwhelmingly

rejected the employers offer.

Unison national secretary for local government, Malcolm Wing said:

'Local government has become the poor relation of the public sector with the

largest pocket of low paid women. A quarter of a million staff, doing vital

jobs in their local communities, earn less than£5 an hour.'

T&G national organiser Jack Dromey continued,

'The national average wage is£19,000 yet over two-thirds of our members

earn less than£13,000. No wonder then that when they see 60% rises for

councillors and the rise of the 'fat cat' chief executives they say enough

is enough.'

GMB national secretary Mick Graham commented:

'Everyone wishes to avoid industrial action. But unless the employers are

prepared to continue to negotiations with an open mind it is difficult to

see what other options are available. Local government workers are amongst

the lowest paid in the land and the growing discrepancy between public and

private sector pay must be addressed.'

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