Council workers vote to strike over pay and cuts

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PUBLIC services could grind to a halt on July 10 after council and school support workers voted in favour of a one-day strike in a dispute over pay and cuts.

More than 58 per cent of members of public service union Unison, who voted in the ballot, supported the action, union bosses said.

The GMB and Unite will announce voting results over the next week, while the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCSU) is also balloting its members for a strike in the long-running dispute over cuts, with the result also due by the end of the month.

The Local Government Association (LGA) called the vote for strike action “disappointing” but said it would “not change the pay offer we have made”.

Unison said local government workers and school support staff – which include all school workers except teachers – had been subject to a three-year pay freeze and had now been offered a one per cent pay rise.

“These workers care for our elderly, clean our streets, feed and educate our school children and keep our libraries running, but they receive no recognition in their pay packets,” Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said.

“They are mainly low-paid women workers, stressed and demoralised, and they deserve better from their employers and from this government.

“This is the group that has borne the brunt of the Government’s austerity agenda.”

He added: “The employers must get back into talks immediately to avoid a damaging dispute.”