Council staff strike labelled reckless

A strike by thousands of council workers and school staff has been criticised by council chiefs and MPs, who have branded it 'inconvenient' and reckless'.

Walsall Council leader Mike Bird
Walsall Council leader Mike Bird

Schools could close and some council services grind to a halt during the planned walkout on July 10.

It comes after Unison voted in favour of the strike action in a row over pay.

The walkout will coincide with planned action by the National Union of Teachers.

But the move has already sparked criticism, with leader of Walsall Council Mike Bird saying those who do strike will have their pay docked.

"Should the strike take place then we will be explaining to our residents this was a decision taken by Unison and not by the council," he said.

"It seems while cuts are being made the unions are seeking a pay rise. Well if people do decide to walk out they will be docked pay and it will be a saving to the council.

"At the end of the day it's members of the public who are being inconvenienced.

"We will be doing our upmost to ensure that residents will inconvenienced as little as possible and that any impact will be kept to a minimum."

Union leaders were today urged to come back around the negotiating table by South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson.

He said: "It is always a tragedy when anyone has to go on strike and we do respect people's right to strike, however you do find that union leaders are quick to march out on strike and not think of the consequences that it has to their members.

"I would encourage them to get back around the negotiating table and think about the affect this is going to have on teachers, children and parents as well as residents across Staffordshire."

Dudley Council leader David Sparks said the authority was considering the implications of the Unison vote.

But Unison bosses insist the action is necessary following a proposed one per cent pay rise by the Government.

Tony Rabaiotti, Unison spokesman in the West Midlands, said: "“We have a clear majority for strike action so a one day strike will go ahead on July 10.

"Many of our members are low paid women earning barely above the minimum wage, who care for our children, our elderly and our vulnerable and they deserve better treatment than they have had at the hands of this Government. "

Adrian Turner, representative for Unison in Wolverhampton, warned all public services would be affected apart from bin collections, which are outsourced to private contractor Amey, and housing services offered by Wolverhampton Homes.

“We have not rushed into this. It is a last resort," he said.

“And we are still hopeful that nationally we can get employers back around the table.

“We have faced massive job losses and our members have endured three years of pay freezes so a one per cent rise is not acceptable."

Comments for: "Council staff strike labelled reckless"

Ivor

But my nameless friend no one in the private sector has had a pay rise either and I thank heaven private sector jobs are increasing so that we can produce money to pay off the damage a Union based Red Ed and Brown did to the UK's economy

Whoops so sorry in

2010 Labour said it was the Bankers

1979, Labour said it was the evil forces of Capitalism

1969 Labour said It was the the Gnomes of Zürich

1951 Labour said it was the USA

I've seen every Labour excuse in the book Labour couldn't run a bath

StJoe

I know quite a few private sector places who have had a pay rise over the last few years. Suggest you find out yourself before making a 'No One statement' Try most of the retail giants for a start..That's a clue to start you off!

markie

But a lot of those pay rises are due to the increase in the minimum wage.

StJoe

I know a lot of people who are in retail , working in large supermarkets outfits who have had wage rises, bonuses, shares and that is nothing to do with min wage rises. Trouble is no one wants you to know this because they want to keep constantly harping on about the public sector by the side of the poor old private sector. The private sector fairs well when things in the economy are on the up. The public stays in line. People forget this, untill something goes wrong, then it's 'Oh dear poor private

sector'..no bonuses anymore and look at those big pensions the public sector is getting!! Cake and eat it comes to mind in the private sector and no one else get any if they are struggling.

Macpedigree

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27047966

Just out of interest.

What's the worst that can happen !

If you can afford to pay Union subs, you don't need a pay rise.

Woody65

Here! Here!

Absolutely nothing is achieved by going on strike, the unions and their fat cat bosses should be getting round a table and negotiating, after all they are paid ridiculous amounts for 'lip service'.

oldrocker

That would be 'Hear, hear.'

Woody65

It can be both. It's a point of conjecture with academics and politicians.

Hear, hear is a shortened version of 'hear ye' but more and more people tend to use here, here as in 'listen to them here'.

Anyway, c'est la vie.

middley

Condemned by M.P's what was the percentage rise they had this year, was it 20 or 22%. Two faced rats and the council chiefs are as bad, what do they get paid and extras. I have to say though I got stitched up and was made redundant, I appealed the decision, did my own appeal with the union guy present who said nothing, then when the appeal was turned down, the union guy said I will speak to the solicitors to go to tribunal, that was the last I heard so stuff the unions !

charlie.bear.5836

The teachers could hold their strike sometime in August.

Why not take the whole month?

Woody65

Or the last week in July if they're busy in August!

Woody65

Well if they got rid of all the duplicate and non-jobs in the civil service then maybe funds would become available for a reasonable increase in line with inflation. As for the N.U.T. that is exactly what they are..... Nuts!

markie

I've worked in both public and private sector and never had a non job in either.

I think on balance working in the civil service was marginally harder, I rarely had a lunch break and often did work at home. Although the pay was lower than equivalent private sector jobs my pension entitlement more than made up for that.

I also never took part in any strike action that occured.

AlbertF

Lets not forget that public sector workers have suffered a decrease in pay of 18% in real terms since 2010 (when inflation is taken into account). That's clearly not good enough for any part of the workforce, irrespective of public or private.

Luckily, according to Wagetracker, the average pay increase for the private sector is 2.5%. So why should the public sector be fobbed off with far less than that, given the crucial services they deliver?

Kapake

Living wage £7.65 versus minimum wage £6.31 Union negotiated if I remember. Still not enough.

davidelkington

In fairness to Mike Bird, councillors in Walsall did unanimously reject recommendations to increase their allowances last year and have done for the last three overall - I think.

As for South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson - what a total hypocrite! Remind us all again Mr Williamson what pay rise MP's will get in 2015... 1% like the rest of the public sector? Not even close! 11%! That's right. Next year MPs salaries will go up by £7,600 to £74,000 per year! Let's not forget all your other perks too like expenses for second homes, food and subsistence, transport... Basically your whole Whitehall life on the public credit card and you have the audacity to call on public sector workers to think of the effects and come back to the negotiating table?

Do you even know who left the negotiating table first Mr Williamson? I'll give you a clue, better yet, I'll give you the answer... The Employers, not the unions.

The employers cancelled the first scheduled meeting with all three unions as they wanted to see what the chancellor did with the minimum wage and then came back with 1%. When the unions attempted negotiation the response was take it or leave it, we're not negotiating. How's that negotiation?

Strikes are the last resort. No one wants to go on strike. It's not 1970 anymore and people do take these things very seriously. If the employers were up for negotiation, this wouldn't be happening, but don't let the facts get in the way of another good political photo opp to point out how inconsiderate and reckless those fat cat Council workers are.