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UNISON CONF: EMPLOYERS' FIGHTING FIND 'STRENGTHENS RESOLVE FOR NATIONAL STRIKE'

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By Suzanne Simmons-Lewis ...
By Suzanne Simmons-Lewis

Unison is gearing up for an overwhelming yes vote in its ballot for strike

action over local government pay despite the employers' latest attempt to persuade workers to accept the 3% pay deal by spending a substantial amount of money on newspaper adverts.

Employers have given detailed advice to councils on methods to persuade

workers to vote against strike action. A fighting fund has been set up with

contributions from all councils to fund the campaign.

Unison's head of local government Heather Wakefield said: 'This is an interesting

waste of taxpayers money. They [employers] have asked councils to contribute

to the cost of the newspaper adverts and I don't imagine that they have

consulted local taxpayers on whether or not their money should be wasted

on such things.'

She added: 'The fact that they feel the need to get councils to go directly

to our members shows that they are worried. They have also employed scare

tactics in some places worrying our members about their pension entitlements

which I think is a step too far.'

Unison is confident that members will vote for industrial action on 5

July and believe this latest move has only strengthened the resolve of its

members.

An emergency motion on pay at the conference rejected the call for a national

demonstration in London to coincide with a day of industrial action. But

members intend to galvanise more support for local pickets to keep up the

pressure on their individual councils.

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