- To ensure that the employers realised how serious we are about the dispute
- To enable regions and branches to organise for further action over the summer
- To enable us to have a focus for our campaigning across the summer period
- To allow us to liaise with our Health and other colleagues and co-ordinate action with other unions
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Local Government Pay - Now is the Time for Action (and not only now)
It’s less than a week until we start a strike ballot of the members of the majority trade union in the largest bargaining group in the entire UK economy – the local government workforce in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
We have our work cut out to get the “YES” vote which we need – and to win our members to take strike action in the numbers needed to have the impact which will force the employers to shift their position.
With a clear target date for strike action in early July we have every opportunity, not least through coordination with other unions, such as the NUT and PCS, as well as the other local government unions, to begin to make that impact.
However it is equally clear that a single day of strike action – without even the threat of further action – would be unlikely to shift the employers (even if they are less intransigent after the local elections).
We need to identify, at the least two further consecutive days of national strike action in September for a number of reasons, including;
I know that my colleagues on the National Joint Council Committee are being consulted on concrete proposals to name such further action in early September. This is a most welcome development.
The difference between a purely symbolic dispute which is essentially a recruitment exercise and a serious dispute which aims to achieve real results for our members is precisely this difference between a single day and a sustained campaign.
We’re some of the way to achieving the goals of model resolutions which my UNISON branch has been told we ought not to have circulated (of which more later ad nauseam).
We need to remain vigilant, as local government workers, to ensure the effective and successful prosecution of our pay dispute – and the democratic control of our dispute by our members and their elected representatives.
More importantly than anything else though – we need to mobilise our members to take action.