Local Government workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland have voted to accept a pay offer which equates to no more than the 1% offer the same group of workers rejected in this year.
The deal simultaneously ties workers into a 1% pay deal for 2015-16.
64% of Unison members voted to accept the deal, 36% to reject
While there was significant opposition to the deal in the regions of North West and London, the leadership of Unison (by far the largest of the three unions) called off the strike action planned to coincide with the TUC week of action and NHS workers’ strikes in October, and refused to call for rejection of the deal.
This meant that outside those two regions many branches were balloting their members without having properly discussed the implications. Many members understandably felt confused by an offer that was presented as a victory, but in reality meant workers would have been better off having taking the 1% offer after the strike in July.
It is hard to find a silver lining to this clear sell-out, but that just over a third of Unison members rejected the deal – at a time when there is no rank and file organisation in Unison to campaign for rejection – shows there are some opening to build such a project.
The Local Government Worker Activists website is one such initiative.
As some GMB and Unite branches also opposed the deal, building for cross union links and coordination is important.