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 Today, 9 April, GMB and the other TUs met the local government employer negotiators to report that all unions were recommending rejection of the 1% pay offer and asking members to vote instead for an industrial action ballot.  We made it clear that all our information is that our members will indeed follow our advice and that will mean the prospect of a serious and damaging dispute.  As senior negotiators, we wish to avoid this dispute escalating and so we requested that the employers take our message away and begin political level discussions to explore whether they can improve their offer.  In simple terms, we asked them to consider opening negotiations.

 They refused.

 The national employer representatives said they would not reflect our arguments to the local government politicians and their ‘ship is not for turning’ – they said they would not even pass the message on because it wasn’t worth it.

 What they mean is you are not worth it.

 I have to say that the dismissive and cavalier way in which the national employers refuse to engage in any form of negotiations at all is bad enough.  But to point blank refuse to represent our views to the political leaders who take the decisions is downright insulting.  There is no point trying to negotiate with people who refuse to reciprocate so the unions have gone over their heads and written to the four local government political leaders (Labour, Tory, Lib Dem and Independents) seeking direct discussions.  To be very clear, we would prefer to go through the normal channels but we are not prepared to have our legitimate case simply ignored. You deserve better than that.

 This proves why it’s time to stand up for local government staff and at the end of this month GMB will be consulting all members so you will have the chance to show these appalling employers exactly what you think.


Brian Strutton

National Secretary – Public Services


Posted: 16th April 2014

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