EXCLUSIVE: Week-long strike over pay to hit sector

By Dan Peters | 10 March 2022

Council workers are expected to strike for a week this month in the first coordinated industrial action to hit the sector in a decade.

Unite revealed today that industrial action will take place at all 11 councils in Northern Ireland – where a simple majority in a ballot is needed to make a strike legal – and eight local authorities in London and the eastern region – where a 50% turnout was also needed.

The councils have not yet been named.

National officer for the local authorities sector at Unite, Jim Kennedy, said he was ‘extremely angry’ about the treatment of council workers, who have been offered a 1.75% pay increase – way below the unions’ 10% claim.

He said: ‘We’ve had 11 years of pay freezes and pay cuts.

'Local government workers as key workers have sustained us through the pandemic.

'There has to come a point when the workforce says we can’t do this no more.

‘It’s an important moment for all local authority workers.

'It’s a substantial piece of action.

'It’s Unite that has stood up strong and taken the fight to the employers.’

Mr Kennedy branded the local government employers a ‘disgrace’ and said their words on how much they valued their workforce rang ‘hollow’.

He continued: ‘Local government pay is an insult to local government workers.

'Enough is enough.

‘My message to the readers of The MJ is start valuing your workforce.

'I think that’s what’s missing.’

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