Councils must pay workers more

Submitted by Anon on 22 October, 2003 - 5:28

The result of the London Unison local government members' ballot was announced on 23 September. the ballot showed 80% in favour of more industrial action over the union's claim for an increase in London weighting to £4,000.
The union has fixed a day of action involving workers in all 32 London boroughs for 16 October, which will coincide with the next London postalworkers' strike.

The current allowance in London boroughs is between £1,500 and £2,850. Recently the union rejected an offer of £201 increase in London weighting which was only going to be made available to staff earning up to a maximum of £14,796.

Fiona Monkman, a member of Unison's National Executive Committee, spoke to Solidarity about the forthcoming action.

The new ballot was taken to gauge whether members still wanted to take action and reaffirmed that to be the case. Members are fed-up with wage levels in London. They need a living wage. The ballot result sent a strong message to the employers. They thought we had gone away but we haven't. Their latest pay offer was so derisory, only the lowest paid staff would gain.

The one-day action on the 16th will be followed by selective action, concentrating on school staff. We will be moving to further action in the new year.

The employers have been very intransigent. Yet the money is there for public sector workers. London firefighters have just had a London weighting allowance of £4,300 imposed on them (their claim was for more).

Unison is co-ordinating its action with other unions-the CWU and AUT. Branches are inviting postal workers to their branch meetings.

This strike will show that low-paid council workers are determined to win a decent wage.

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