Opinion piece: October 14 local government strike must go ahead

4 October 2014

Opinion piece from Helen Davies Unison NEC/Unite the Resistance steering committee (pc)

The week of 13-18 October, launched by health workers action and ending with mass protests in Glasgow and London, provide us with a real chance to hit the Tories hard.

But Unison’s head of local government Heather Wakefield has contacted leading activists on the local government Service Group Executive about the state of planned strikes on 14 October.

She says that Unite have confirmed that they have called off action on 14 October as there is “a growing opinion from activists in all regions who simply want the right to be consulted before having to lose another day’s pay”.

She goes on to say that “GMB are issuing strike action notices…at regional level and have not called off the action. However, that is pending an outcome of talks held…at Joint Secretarial level with the LGA in which we pushed for improved proposals. If these are forthcoming, there has been a unanimous decision of the GMB stewards’ conference to call off the action and consult their members”.

However the GMB have put out instructions to activists stating “GMB National Representatives have met…and confirmed that we will be taking part in the Industrial action on the 14th October. In the last couple of months there have been talks at National level aimed at resolving the dispute but these have come to no avail as the employers have not come up with a suitable alternative offer. Please inform members and ask them to support the strike but they will be notified by letter also”.

All this is pretty confusing for activists but shows that our planned action is under real threat, despite the fact that any “offer” is likely to be a repackaging of the “proposal” the NJC has already rejected.

Unison was right to reject the “proposal” and unless there are some pretty spectacular advances contained in any new offer then we should push ahead with action, even if other local government unions pull back. We can’t allow this chance to fightback against low pay slip. Let’s stick to our guns and strike.

Send messages supporting the NJC decision to strike to H.Wakefield@unison.co.uk


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