5 consecutive years of real term pay cuts to predominantly already low paid workers providing vital public services is just unacceptable.
Below are some of the powerful arguments being put out by UNISON about why this strike is necessary. Enough is enough.
"The employer’s side of the National Joint Council (NJC) for Local Government Services, which covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland, refuses to renegotiate on its 1% final offer.
The trade union side claim to the NJC this year was designed to call a halt to poverty pay in local government and schools.
The trade unions are seeking a minimum of £1 an hour for employees on NJC terms and conditions to make the living wage rate the bottom pay rate in local government and - because everyone on NJC pay is low paid for the jobs they do - the same flat rate increase on all other pay points".
"They really need it. They had a pay freeze from 2010 until 2013, followed by a 1% increase in 2013 when inflation was 2%. Now they have been offered another pay cut – 1%, while inflation is 2.5%. Their basic pay is the lowest in the public sector".
"Over one million NJC workers (two thirds) earn less than £21,000 a year. That's below the government's 'low pay' threshold and over £5,500 less than annual median earnings in the economy in 2012".
"Over half a million local government workers earn less than the living wage of £7.65 per hour".
"workers in local government have seen an 18% drop in basic pay in real terms since 2010".