Some 1.4 million workers in local government moved a step closer to strike action over pay last week.
In a consultative exercise members of the Unison union overwhelmingly rejected a 2 percent pay offer from the local government employers. Some 81 percent of members and 95 percent of branches voted no.
The employers have made it clear that the decision over pay in local government ultimately rests with prime minister Gordon Brown. Unions have called for a 5 percent pay increase, or £1,000 a year, whichever is the greater.
As Unison points out,“the consultation was conducted on the basis that all members would need to take decisive ‘all out’ industrial action to secure any improvement.” Local government activists in the Unison, Unite and the GMB unions need to keep up the pressure to get a strike ballot as soon as possible.