Over 500 people protested in Rochdale last Thursday over the council’s plans to attack the terms and conditions of its 8,000 workers through pay and grade restructuring. The lively protest had flags and banners from the Unison, Unite and GMB unions.
The Lib Dem council plans to stop overtime pay, enhancements and allowances. Over a quarter of the workforce will be directly affected.
Many protesters were angry that the council had refused to provide information about the proposals to the unions – and then accused the unions of not wanting to talk.
John Rhodes, the Unison regional organiser, got a huge cheer when he said, “Next time they meet, we will be on the inside and they will be on the outside!” He also announced that if the employers don’t produce a fairer deal we would be balloting for industrial action.
Several councillors were booed as they walked through the protest. Another protest is planned for the next council meeting in December.
Sam O’Brien, Unison steward Rochdale local government branch (pc)
Kirklees council workers in the Unison union have started a consultative ballot in response to the council issuing new contracts to all its staff asking them to agree new pay and conditions.
Kirklees Unison is telling its members not to sign, and to vote for industrial action if the employer proceeds with issuing notices of sacking and reengaging in February.
Nick Ruff, chair Kirklees Unison (pc)