Unison recommends council staff strike on 16-17 July

Unison negotiators are recommending a two-day strike for 600,000 council workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland on 16 and 17 July.

The union’s industrial action committee will decide on Friday, 27 June whether to press ahead with the walk-out, which could leave social care services badly disrupted.

Members voted by 55% to 45% last week in favour of a programme of “sustained and escalating” programme of strike action, which the recommendation has taken one step further to reality.

Unison rejected the local government employers’ pay increase of 2.45%. Almost 250,000 members working across all sectors earn less than £6.50 an hour.

Unison’s head of local government, Heather Wakefield, said she was still willing to meet employers, but repeated that members were “willing to fight for a fair deal”.

“Once the dates are finally agreed we will be going all out to mobilise maximum support around those strike days,” she said.

“We are of course always willing to meet the employers. The solution to this is in their hands. They must know that we mean business and they must know that our members cannot afford to take another pay cut this year.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “We are disappointed that Unison has voted to take strike action, with the unfortunate disruption that this will bring to some local services. We hope that the trade unions can continue to work with the local authority employers to reach an affordable pay deal.”

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