Unite and Unison members at Southampton council are currently voting on an offer from management that could end the long-running dispute over pay cuts.
The deal, which contains some reductions in the scale of cuts for each grade of workers, also involves the unions calling off an ongoing legal challenge to the council’s cuts package.
While Unison, the majority union at the council, is not putting out a recommendation to its members on how to vote on the deal, Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker told the Southampton Daily Echo that, while not formal votes were taken at recent members’ meetings to discuss the deal, “the mood at the meeting was overwhelmingly to reject the council proposal.”
If the deal is rejected, strikes — suspended since mid-October — could resume.
Unite’s shop stewards voted to recommend rejection. Unite regional organiser Ian Woodland told Solidarity:
“Like Unison, our negotiating team came out of the last round of talks not planning to make a recommendation one way or another on the deal. But when we took it back to our stewards they were clear that there hadn’t been enough movement from management. They were also particularly opposed to the condition the council was putting on us that we had to drop our legal claims, and for those reasons felt we had to recommend rejection of the deal to our membership.
“I think that was a very strong and principled position that our stewards took.”
• A longer interview with Ian Woodland will appear in Solidarity 225