Local government employees, including social workers, and school support staff have voted to strike over pay, Unison has said.
The union said almost 85,000 workers voted, with 58.7% supporting strike action. The staff have been subjected to a three-year pay freeze and the government has now made an offer of a 1% pay rise for council workers who earn £7.71 an hour or more and slightly more for those earning less. The union’s members rejected the government’s offer in an earlier ballot.
Unison’s national committee will now meet “to decide next steps”.
Dave Prentis, the union’s general secretary said: “These workers care for our elderly, clean our streets, feed and educate our school children and keep our libraries running, but they receive no recognition in their pay packets. They are mainly low paid women workers, stressed and demoralised, and they deserve better from their employers and from this government.”
“We will now be discussing next steps. But we call on the employers to get back into talks to agree a fair deal for local government and schoolsupport workers,” he added.
The union has previously said that it wants a minimum increase of £1.20 an hour. It says that more than half of that increase would be recovered through tax and National Insurance.
The GMB and Unite unions are also balloting their members on strike action over the pay offer. The results of those ballots are expected over the next week.
More to follow…