15 Jul 2008

Solidarity with Local Government strikers!



Solidarity with Local Government strikers!


On the eve of the industrial action in local Government, Media Officer for LGBTGreens, Phelim Mac Cafferty stated:

“LGBT Greens wish to commend the sterling work of local govt workers- the emptying of bins, the cleaning of our authority's schools, the conduct of marriages and civil partnerships, the care of our city's parks, the safety of our food and the care of our children in nurseries and schools and so much more is conducted by local govt workers.

Phelim continued:

“It is in the context of inflation (up 4.3%), some fuel bills up by over a tenth, fuel up nearly a quarter, milk 17% and bread 9%, we ask why the Local Government Association has offered a pay 'rise' of 2.45% to local govt workers. This signifies a significant pay cut and comes on the back of 10 years of below-inflation pay 'rises'.

“It is in such a climate that the trade union Unison has called on local govt workers to take industrial action on 16 and 17 July- not because they want to. Many UNISON members are low-paid, part-time women workers, struggling to pay bills - losing two days pay for strike action is not something they are prepared to do lightly. Unison are actually striking because the employers won’t even consider talking to them about a better offer.

“Unison, the largest public sector union, has 600,000 members in local government. Some 40,000 Unite union members in local government will also join the action.

“Greens want to clarify that over 800 local authority senior management earn more than £100,000. Council senior management have enjoyed an average pay rise of 4.6 percent. The salaries of Human Resources directors in local government increased by 15 percent in 2007 – taking their average wage to £73,264.

“We are knowledgeable that the services provided by local govt workers are essential to our community, and that shutting them down for two days will cause disruption. LGBT Greens share the concerns of Unison who are genuinely sorry that citizens will be inconvenienced. However we believe that cities like Brighton are expensive and that the people who keep it moving just can’t afford another pay cut.

Phelim concluded-

“LGBT Greens are concerned that unless local govt workers get a fair settlement on pay, our local community will suffer too. We are deeply concerned that services will simply deteriorate as councils continue to lose committed staff and struggle to find new employees prepared to work for such low pay.”

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