Council staff in pay row walkout

Pay battle: Council workers are set to stage a strike over pay  next month
Pay battle: Council workers are set to stage a strike over pay next month
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Frustrated council staff will stage a walkout over the lack of a “fair pay deal”.

Local government workers and school support members of Unison agreed on industrial action for July 10 as public sector pay cuts impacts on their households, with many seeing the Government’s proposals as an unfair deal.

The GMB and Unite have also balloted their members over the possibility of strike action, and will announce voting results over the next week.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has contacted its members.

John Lewis, Unison North West’s head of local government, said: “Local government and school support staff are predominantly low paid workers, mainly women and a high proportion of them are part time.

“Half a million earn less than the living wage and a further half million are below even the Government’s definition of low pay.

“Frozen public sector pay impacts on many households in Blackpool, just as it does elsewhere, with knock-on effects to the local economy.

“Unison members have now voted by a clear majority for strike action over pay.

“They have been pushed into this after years of pay freezes and below inflation awards.

“Industrial action is a last resort for our members. But in the absence of a decent offer by the sector employers, and their refusal of further talks on a fair pay deal for local government and school support workers, then quite simply enough is enough.”

Members of the National Union of Teachers will also take industrial action on July 10, while firefighters have not ruled out further strikes.

Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We’re aware that a number of unions are balloting for strike action nationally and local members are being polled.

“We’re awaiting the outcome of those ballots at present and are preparing suitable contingencies in case strike action does go ahead.”