Union members in London take strike action

Unison members throughout London took strike action on Tuesday
to campaign for higher London weighting payments,
writes Clare Jerrom.

A spokesperson for Greater London Unison, Julian Cooke said the
strike was a great success and early indications were that there
was action in every one of the 32 London boroughs. In central
London, 3,000 people participated in a march from Temple to the TUC
headquarters, Congress House, where there was a rally.

Cooke said of the 58,000 members of Unison in London, 70 per
cent were in favour of the strike.

They are calling for a higher London weighting payment to bring
workers in line with other public sector workers. Currently workers
in inner London receive a weighting of around £2,600, and in
outer London, it can be £1,400 a year.

Cooke said police in London gain a weighting of £6,000
through various allowances, and senior London nurses receive over

Unison are calling for a flat rate of £4,000 to apply to
inner and outer London workers.

“The flat rate would help poorer workers better, and get rid of
the inner/outer London concept,” Cooke said.

He added many people are providing a caring service on low pay,
and the allowance would be a way of keeping workers in London, and
solve the recruitment crisis more effectively than short term
fixes. Staff caring for vulnerable people were given exemption from
the strike.

Cooke insists if the Association of London Government refuses to
hold talks, members will strike again next month, possibly for two

Sir Robin Wales, chairperson of the ALG, said: “The impact of
the strike on London’s council services was minimal. The
essential services such as emergency social work teams, home care
and meals on wheels services were kept running.

“Unison was shaking an empty piggybank, councils simply
don’t have the £250 million needed to meet their pay
demands,” he added.

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