Socialist Worker

Action in local government can beat Brown

Issue No. 2073

All Gordon Brown’s rhetoric about building more homes and his supposed commitment to equality were shown to be hollow by the spending review.

The government announced last week that councils will receive a 1 percent real term increase.

Councils will use this below inflation increase to ramp up council tax while pushing through more cuts and privatisation in services.

Local authorities across the country are still pushing through single status deals that are leading to pay cuts for men and women workers in the name of “equal pay”.

Dave Prentis, the general secretary of the Unison union, said, “Investment in public services must include investment in staff and training. Pay is a crucial factor in maintaining morale.

“Putting an artificial limit on pay across the public sector restricts genuine attempts to reward staff for successful reform and will store up industrial problems for the future,” he said.

Across the country local government activists are campaigning for a huge yes vote in the Unison union strike ballot over pay. The ballot closes on 25 October. If workers vote in favour of action, an initial two-day strike will be held in mid-November.

Activists need to link up action across the public sector against cuts and for decent pay.

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