As you know the ballot for strike action over the inadequate pay offer of 1.5% is ongoing.

Some members have come to the branch with concerns which we have tried to address in the bullet points below:

  • As always, unions view industrial action as the last resort – something we have to turn to if the employers’ position is, in our view, unreasonable (1.5% against inflation of 6%; energy bills set to rise between 50-75% in Spring; and 12 years of below-inflation pay settlements, is unreasonable).
  • Often, the indication by a workforce that it has reached that point, such that it is now forced into considering industrial action, will be enough to make a reasonable employer come back to the negotiating table and try to meaningfully reach an agreeable resolution.
  • Where this proves impossible, and strike action is called, the immediate aim of the union is to ensure that its members suffer no detriment (loss of pay or any other sanction). The branch would call an Emergency General Meeting and ask that meeting to approve the establishment of a fund to allow the branch to assist any member involved in industrial action – after the first three days of any action, UNISON’s national fund automatically kicks in.
  • The employer cannot discipline you for taking part in lawfully-called industrial action; similarly your length of service will not be affected.
  • The other important side to this ballot is that it shows the strength of feeling within the workplace, the determination of the employees that they will be valued for their work and that they are resolute when it comes to defending working conditions; this all stems from solidarity.

We don’t make this call lightly, but put bluntly, “if not now, then when?”