More strikes in South Glos after failure to resolve pay dispute

Staff will be back on the picket line outside Vinney Green this coming week

Staff will be back on the picket line outside Vinney Green this coming week

Council staff in South Gloucestershire are  striking again today and in the coming week in the ongoing row over pay cuts.

Unison says it has been  forced to resume strike action after council senior management ignored offers  from the branch to sit down to try to resolve the dispute.

Workers in libraries, care  homes, and civil enforcement have been instructed to walk out at 10am today (Saturday 9th November) for a four-hour strike, returning at 2pm.

Kingswood, Hanham, Downend, Emersons Green  libraries will close but Staple Hill and Cadbury Heath libraries are due to stay open all day.

And Unison workers at   Vinney Green Secure Unit will be striking from 7.30am on Tuesday 12th  November to midnight on Thursday 15th November.

A Unison spokesman said: “Employees  have already endured four years of pay freezes, tempered only by a single 1%   increase this year, and face rapidly rising bills further reducing the real value of wages. The council want to add to this misery by making large-scale cuts to Saturday working payments with minimal pay protection.

“The resumption of strike action comes after a secret ballot of the 200-plus members affected. In a 67%  turnout, Unison members decisively rejected, by nearly two to one, an offer of a 12-month buyout payment from South Gloucestershire Council. The offer was so limited that the branch did not feel able to make a recommendation to its members on acceptance.

“However, Unison members clearly felt that the amount offered was not sufficient to compensate them for the long term loss of pay. In contrast if an employee is downgraded as a result of restructurings, and suffers pay cuts, pay protection lasts for three years. Unison has pointed out these inequalities to the council

“Once the ballot result  was known, Unison wrote to the chief executive Amanda Deeks on 30th October,  offering to meet at the earliest opportunity for further talks to resolve the dispute – a request that has so far been ignored. But we will continue to leave all avenues open for talks.”