Monday, July 16, 2007

Time to strike for fair pay in public services

The BBC have noticed that there might be strike action in the NHS. Admittedly this is because the RCN have said that they will consult on strike action over the staging of the 2.5% awarded by the Pay Review Body (not over the amount of the award itself).

I can see the slogans now. “Pay us peanuts but all at once!”

Although it would cost millions, the argument for consistency between England and the devolved administrations could well sway the Government. I think we will then have to watch out for attempts to convince us that 2.5% for health workers backdated to 1 April is somehow acceptable, never mind that it falls well below the rate of price inflation. This is not the view of the Health Service Group within UNISON.

In the same vein, we have to be alert in local government to the risk that any eventual increase in the current 2% offer, even if it is only to 2.5%, will require yet another round of consultation before we move to a strike ballot. As it stands the employers won’t increase the offer so we have no choice but to press ahead. UNISON’s Local Government Conference was fairly clear that 2.5% is not good enough.

No more blogging for a bit as I have to prepare a dismissal appeal…

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