Friday, May 10, 2013

More and more reject the 1% pay insult

There's a growing body of support for the sensible view that local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should join our brothers and sisters in Scotland and reject the employers' pay offer of a miserly 1% (2% below the current rate of price inflation after our living standards have fallen by 16% over the three years of the pay freeze).

A couple of days ago the semi-official "UNISON Active" blog took a clear position (http://unisonactive.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/1-in-local-government-only-credible.html?m=1). The position expressed in that blog post - to campaign for rejection of 1% - which reflected the previously agreed position of the Regional Local Government Executive in Greater London - has since been forcefully reiterated in the influential North West Region (whose representatives had originally moved the position that pointed us in the direction of a dispute over pay in 2013).

Such forthright views seem also to have informed the official UNISON leaflet issued today to accompany the branch-issued consultative ballot papers (http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/B6296a.pdf), which clearly states that the NJC Committee viewed the 1% offer as an insult.

It would be churlish in the face of such excellent campaign materials even to wonder aloud how it was that, whereas 13 Committee members rightly concluded that an insult should be rejected, another 14 couldn't join the dots to that formal conclusion.

It might be equally churlish to pick holes in the threadbare arguments against using electronic means to consult members as expressed (electronically) in Pay Matters 11 (http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/B6296.pdf). However - since I think there may still be elements around the UNISON Centre who haven't been won to the sensible, reasoned and pragmatic position of rejecting 1% - I can't promise not to be churlish on this point over the weekend.

In the twenty-first century, using all available technologies to mobilise our members against declining living standards strikes me as quite reasonable (rather as a strike over this issue does...)

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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