Socialist Worker

New Unison local government ballot could spread next walkout to Scotland

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2412

Local government workers in Scotland have voted by 65 percent to reject the imposition of a 1 percent pay rise in a consultative ballot by the Unison union.

Last August Unison members agreed by a small margin to accept a 1 percent pay rise in 2013. But hard-nosed employers responded by imposing the same figure in 2014.

Clerical grades in Glasgow found half their pay rise was lost straight away in increased bus fares. 

The latest result now raises the prospect of autumn strikes. Unison branch secretaries are set to meet at the end of July to discuss moving to a formal industrial action ballot. 

One Glasgow Unison branch officer told Socialist Worker, “This is an amazing result given how Unison’s Scottish local government leadership dragged their heels over the consultative ballot. 

“I believe it was only held as a result of pressure from general secretary Dave Prentis who wants Scotland to be part of further action in England and Wales. 

“But it was also because activists in the larger branches in Scotland argued there was a mood to fight if given a lead. We must now ensure this vote is not squandered.”

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