Friday, September 28, 2007

Public sector pay - some will fight, some will sit this one out

According to an anonymous comment on the last post here UNITE-TGWU members in local government have voted in a consultative ballot to accept the employers' offer.

According to our anymous source; "TGWU members have voted 57% in favour of accepting the local government employers' pay offer. Turnout was 29%."

This would be a disappointment, but hardly a shock. A similar result from the GMB consultative ballot would be no big suprise. UNISON represents the majority of local government workers, the GMB represent a significant minority. UNITE-TGWU have membership in some authorities but are very much the third union in the local government workforce covered by the national negotiations. UNISON activists will be disappointed if we do not have the support of the other unions at the outset of this year's pay fight, but won't in the end allow minorities to dictate to the majority.

If you consult people on the basis that "this is the best we can get by negotiation and you'll have to take a lot of strike action if you want more" without at the same time offering a strategy to win through taking strike action then you won't get trade unionists willing to take action.

I would suggest that the result of the consultative ballot on health service pay in UNISON illustrates this point quite well.

On a day when PCS launched a strike ballot involving more than a quarter of a million civil service members and CWU served notice to Royal Mail for two rounds of 48 hour strike action scheduled to start next week, it is clear that there is scope for united public sector strike action over the Government's pay policy.

It won't be action across the whole of the public sector and it won't involve every union, but there are millions of us who could be mobilised - and if we are we could win and reverse the declining living standards of public sector workers.


Anonymous said...

Nothing happening in UNISON now theres a suprise!

Anonymous said...

GMB members have accepted the employers' pay offer by a 7 to 1 majority on a 25% turnout.

Gareth said...

GMB have voted 7 to 1 to accept. Brian Strutton the GMB national secretary has described this as "surprising"!

What proportion of our membership would get the £6 or 3.4%?

I appreciate 3.4% of b*****r all is still b****r all but it is still a better offer for them than 2.475%.