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Local government pay: Reject employers' proposal
Build October strikes to move them further
It appears that the local government employers have made a set of new proposals in the pay dispute to the unions - Unison, Unite and the GMB. It should be noted that any improvement is a result of the threatened strike on 14th October which is part of a three-day rolling action that also covers the NHS and the civil service; coming after the million-strong public sector strike that took place on 10th July.
However, the detail of the proposal reveals that it is nowhere near enough to settle this dispute. Council workers who have suffered four years of pay freezes, in reality huge cuts to living standards, would receive a pay rise only marginally over the original 1% limit imposed by this Tory-led government.
Socialist Party members in public sector unions believe that this proposal should be rejected by all the unions and even more effort should be made in building for massive strikes on 13, 14 and 15 October as well as the TUC 'Britain Needs a Pay Rise' demo on 18 October.
We welcome the fact that at the meeting between representatives of the local government employers and unions a majority of union representatives voted to reject the proposal.
The incredible movement that has been built around the Scottish referendum shook the government and the establishment to the core and revealed their lack of confidence.
With Unison members in Academies voting for strike action there is a clear momentum building towards 14th October.
This proposal should be rejected but it shows that it is the government and the employers who have blinked first. It should give council workers and all those in the public sector confidence that far more concessions can be won if the unions build for mass strike action in two weeks' time.
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 26 September 2014 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.