16 May 2014
Following a consultation exercise where GMB members covered by the local government pay offer had a chance to vote whether to accept or reject it, I can report that a massive 83% voted to reject the offer and called for GMB to carry out a full industrial action ballot to authorise a lawful strike. This is a strong mandate from our members that GMB will now act on. We will carry out a ballot during June and if that is positive we will call a strike for July 10th. I can also report that our sister unions, Unite and Unison, will be balloting to join us.
The message is very clear. Our members are fed up being treated unfairly and the 1% pay offer just adds insult to injury. The employers need to realise that we are not going to tolerate being told to do so much for so little by way of respect or reward in return. It’s time to do something about it. Not as individuals, but all together, backed by the strength of the union and the protection of a legal strike ballot.
If any employers read this, or ask you about our motivation, it has to be said that neither GMB nor it’s members want to be talking about strike action. What we want to be talking about is how to provide better services for our local communities and in our schools. All we reasonably ask for is to be treated fairly and I guarantee that at any time we will negotiate with the employers to avoid a strike. That’s our preference. But they have refused to negotiate and refused to use any other means of resolving disputes. If they continue treating us like they have been then we have no other choice open to us but to take action. And we will.