23 September 2013
South Gloucestershire UNISON Members To Take Industrial Action Against Savage Salary Cuts
South Glos UNISON press release
A ballot of nearly 190 South Gloucestershire UNISON members has resulted in an overwhelming vote to take industrial action over savage attacks on their wages.
On 1 October 2013 South Gloucestershire Council intend to impose new contracts on staff who have to work weekends, cutting pay rates for Saturday working by 33%. The council says Saturday should now be regarded as a “normal working day”. In addition there will also be changes to allowances for working at night.
For many the cuts will be up to 10% of the workers’ total wages and some will have substantially more to lose, depending on work patterns.
Huw Williams, South Gloucestershire UNISON Branch Secretary, stated:
“The results of this industrial action ballot show the depth of anger our members feel at having a massive reduction in their wages. These staff carry out work which is demanding, low paid and vital to the local community. For these staff to be treated with the contempt of a 10% pay cut at the same time as the wage freeze for the public sector over the last four years is dreadful.
“UNISON approached the council before the start of the ballot process requesting a meeting with councillors to discuss the dispute but this request was refused.
“Our members are determined to fight for justice and to ensure the council stop scapegoating lower paid workers.”
The workers who were balloted included:
Library Assistants, who earn around £16,000 per annum full time rate; Residential Care staff in Vinney Green Secure Unit for Children, who earn around £21,000; Care Assistants and other staff in the two Local Authority elderly people’s homes and Civic Enforcement Officers.
All these groups earn significantly below national average earnings and are already facing massive reductions in real living standards due to having only received a single 1% pay rise during the last four years.
Dates and details for planned industrial action, and for action short of strike, will be notified in due course.
The first day of strike action is this Saturday, 28th September
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