THE FIGHT for an increase in London weighting for council workers across the capital has reached a crucial phase. The employers have dug their heels in and refused to make any offer. The unions need to respond with more action.
Tens of thousands of council workers, including school support staff as well as manual and white collar workers in local councils, staged repeated one-day strikes over the issue last year. At the core of the fight is the council workers' claim for £4,000 a year to cover the extra costs of living and working in the capital.
Talks with the employers and the three council workers' unions-Unison, the GMB and the TGWU-took place on 18 December. The employers took a hard line and made no offer at all, which infuriated union leaders.
Union leaders made a commitment to step up the fight in the face of the employers' intransigence. Discussions in Unison, for example, have already looked at intensifying the selective action that has been taking place alongside the London-wide strikes. Those discussions have also agreed to hold meetings with other public sector workers such as teachers about coordinating the fight for decent pay.