Why we’re striking
Across the country almost half a million of our jobs have gone. We’ve witnessed savage cuts to vital services. Those of us left are doing far more for far less.
Most UNISON members are low-paid, part-time women workers, struggling to pay their household bills. Losing pay for strike action is not something we do lightly.
We are not asking for the 14% pay increase company bosses are getting. Or the 11% MPs will see. Or the millions in bonuses which the city bankers continue to receive, despite their role in causing the financial crash. We are just asking for a rise of at least £1 an hour.
That would mean almost half a million council and school support workers currently earning below the Living Wage of £7.65 an hour could come off in-work benefits.
UNISON NJC members: 5 reasons to go on strike
- You can’t afford another pay and pension cut. The current offer leaves you with pay worth 20% less than in 2010. Falling pay also means loss of pension for the rest of your life.
- You are worth fair pay for the work you do. Your pay and conditions are the worst in the public sector – from top to bottom.
- Taking another pay cut won’t save jobs and services. Despite a pay freeze, jobs have gone and services continue to be stripped to the bone, privatised or stopped all together. There’s no reason to believe a pay cut will stop this.
- All this will continue unless we act now. Low pay is bad for workers and bad for the economy. That’s why politicians from all parties are calling for an end to low pay. Many local government workers rely on benefits to pay bills. Right now, the taxpayer is subsidising local government to pay poverty wages.
- Our claim for a minimum of £1 more an hour for all is affordable. Paying all local government workers a living wage will boost Treasury coffers by around £0.9bn every year from increased tax and national insurance take – shifting many off in-work benefits and reducing the bill to taxpayers.
Join in the strike on October 14! And don’t forget, UNISON can help if you’re worried about losing pay for the day.