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Local government: fight for decent pay, terms and conditions
Unison Local Government strike 16-17 July 2009 in London, photo Paul Mattsson
Local government employers have come back with their so-called final offer for this year's pay deal - a miserable 1%. For a worker on £20,000 a year, this offer will mean 10p an hour extra before tax and national insurance. For the many workers on lower pay than this, it will be even less.
In eight of the last 12 years local government workers' pay increase has not even matched the inflation rate and for the last two years we have had a pay freeze. So members are rightly desperate to stop the slide in their living standards.
While it is good that the employers have not felt able to attack other terms and conditions at this stage, they have issued a clear warning to the unions that they want to go over the heads of national negotiations and help councils locally and regionally to attack things like sick pay and allowances.
The national employers clearly want to reduce the national negotiations to only include pay and leave the rest to be fought out at a local level. This will be the beginning of the end of national bargaining if not fought.
Both the miserable pay offer and the threat to our terms and conditions must be met with a clear response. Local government workers must make it clear that we won't accept this and we will fight it through national industrial action linking up with all the other workers facing attacks at the moment.
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In The Socialist 1 May 2013:
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