Staff back on the picket line

Striking staff outside Vinney Green

Striking staff outside Vinney Green

Council workers in South Gloucestershire were out on strike again today in their row over wage cuts.

Library assistants, care workers, staff at the Vinney Green secure unit and civic enforcement officers took industrial action from 10am to 2pm – and a fourth day of industrial action will go ahead next Thursday unless an agreement can be thrashed out beforehand between Unison officials and the council’s political leaders.

The two sides are due to sit down together on Tuesday to negotiate.

Unison branch secretary Huw Williams was at the picket line outside Vinney Green this morning, reminding members that there was a hardship fund that they could access. He said donations had poured in from other trade unions and organisations in support of the striking staff.

Unison members have been out on strike three times in protest at the council’s decision to change policies governing enhancements and allowances that some staff receive on top of their basic salaries for routine Saturday and overnight working.

Unison says that as a result many workers are losing up to 10% of their pay and some substantially more, depending on the hours they work.

The council says it has made the changes as part of efficiency savings.

Thursday is also the day that the teachers’ strike over pay, pensions and workloads, when will many schools across South Glos, B&NES and Bristol will be closed.