Fresh strikes loom in pay disputes

Yahoo News reports that the Government is facing days of strikes by public sector workers over increasingly bitter disputes over pay. Local government workers are due to walk out on October 14 in protest at a below inflation wage offer of 1 per cent. Health workers are also being asked to take action in a separate row over pay, with October 13 set for any day of action, it has been revealed. The GMB announced that its ballot will open on September 10 and end on October 1. The union said the plan was for a strike on October 13 if there is a yes vote. Unions are in dispute with the Government over the coalition’s controversial decision not to accept a recommended 1 per cent pay rise.

Members of Unison and Unite who work in the NHS are also being balloted for strikes. Unison, the GMB and Unite represent over a million local authority workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland , including librarians, cleaners, refuse collectors, teaching assistants and school meals staff. The unions said no further meetings have been held since a previous strike in July, despite an offer of talks, adding that council workers’ pay has been reduced in value by 20 per cent since the Coalition came to power.

The TUC is staging a national demonstration on October 18 over pay.