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Unison: Vote 'yes' in Wales college pay strike consultation
Ronnie Job, FE Unison steward (personal capacity)
A postal consultative ballot of Unison and other campus union members has begun in Welsh further education (FE) colleges, on whether we are prepared to take industrial action over Collegau Cymru (representing the colleges in Wales) paying no cost of living increase this year.
Pay freezes and below inflation awards mean that the incomes of many FE workers have fallen by around 18% in real terms in recent years. Unison is recommending that all members vote in support of industrial action to win a pay award.
Wage restraint hasn't prevented hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs from being lost across the sector. With the Welsh Government and Collegau Cymru predicting years more of austerity being translated into further cuts, regardless of who wins the general election next year, we need to take a stand.
Any campaign over pay has to be linked to stopping the cuts in further education. And instead of deciding which part of the public sector in Wales should be hit the hardest by Con-Dem cuts, we demand the Welsh government stop wielding the Con-Dems' axe and start fighting back.
Unison members have also voted for strike action on pay in NHS Wales. There is a growing demand from Unison members in councils that the suspension of strike action over pay in local authorities is overturned and the pay campaign resumed. We stand a much better chance of winning if we all strike together.
In The Socialist 29 October 2014:
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