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  • ":GMB national secretary, Brian Strutton said his members voted three to one in favour of strike action."
    When, hes been planning this for months;

    10 March 2014


    While pleading poverty, Councils have squirrelled away £2.6 billion in reserves in the last year alone!

    Did you know that –

    Local government is the lowest paid in the whole public sector
    Since 2010 local government pay has fallen 18% behind the cost of living.
    Over 500,000 local government staff earn less than the Living Wage
    The local government pay bill has fallen by 23% in the last two years.

    There have been 440,000 job losses and the people left have had to pick up more work as a result.

    The facts speak for themselves. Everyone working in schools and local authorities have a clear, justified case for a decent pay rise and the trade union claim for £1 an hour increase is fair and affordable.

    But the employers have said they will only put a 1% pot on the table and they want to take some of that to meet their statutory obligation to pay the National Minimum Wage – incidentally, isn’t it appalling that councils have let pay slip so badly that we have public servants on the minimum wage? The net result would be that the pay offer for 2014 would be less than 1%.

    Unless we do something about it.

    First, we have to say loud and clear that this is totally unacceptable.

    Then, we have to show that we are prepared to take action.

    This is a difficult course. Nobody wants to take action that will put their service users or the children they support to any inconvenience. But if we don’t act we will be consigning hundreds of thousands of school and council staff to low pay for years to come. And unless staff are treated fairly the long term consequences for those very services will be worse.

    There are two simple things you can do to help and they will only take a few minutes of your time. One is to complete our short survey to say what you think about the pay situation. You can do this online at https://www.surveymo
    ovPay2014. , or by using the form attached to this bulletin. The other is to talk to your work colleagues who may not be union members and explain why pay is an issue that everyone should be working together on. If you want to have more information about helping other colleagues join GMB please let me know using

    These simple steps will make a big difference. Please take them to support GMBs campaign to get you a fair pay settlement for 2014.

    Brian Strutton

    Brian Strutton

    National Secretary - Public Services Section

    Join GMB at


    22 Stephenson Way, Euston, London NW1 2HD Tel: 020 8971 4255 Fax: 020 8944 6552 email: brian.strutton@gmb.o

    If you want companies to bring in even more stringent rules and regs, just go on strike and see the results.............
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Thousands of Gwent workers to walk out on strike

Thousands of Gwent workers to walk out on strike

Thousands of Gwent workers to walk out on strike

First published in News
Last updated

MORE than 18,000 Gwent union members are set to strike on Thursday, including teachers, fire fighters, dinner ladies and local government workers, in various disputes over pay and pensions.

Bin collections are set to be missed and burials moved to different days as an estimated two million union members will strike in what the GMB are describing as the second biggest union walk out ever across Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

Most Gwent schools are predicted to shut on Thursday due to the mass joint action by members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), Unison, Unite, the Fire Brigade's Union, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union and the GMB.

Firefighters will walk out between 10am and 7pm on July 10.

Many public sector workers, such as those in local government, are protesting against what they describe as an "insulting" one per cent pay rise offer, while the likes of the NUT oppose cuts to existing pay and pensions.

Glasllwch Primary and St Julian's School in Newport, Abertillery Comprehensive and Risca Comprehensive School have already informed parents they will be closing for the day due to staff shortages, although organised trips will still go ahead.

Newport High School will be closed to Years 11, 12 and 13 but will remain open for Years 7, 8 and 9, while Llanwern High School will be open to Years 9, 10 and 12 only.

Torfaen council has warned that negotiations between employers and trade unions are ongoing and changes could happen right up until the day of the strike.

A spokesman said: "Negotiations with the trade unions are ongoing for employees delivering ‘life and limb’ council services such as personal care, protection of vulnerable children and adults and meals on wheels to receive exemption from the industrial action and it is expected these services will operate as normal."

Pontypool's Civic Centre is likely will be open for staff but residents are advised to phone ahead before trying to visit and any payments should be made online or in advance.

Leisure services transferred to the Torfaen Leisure Trust will not be affected.

Dominic MacAskill, local government officer for Unison based in Swansea, said they have around 12,000 members in Gwent and predicted a further 6,000 to strike from Unite, the GMB and the NUT.

No rallies are planned in Gwent, with the nearest being in Cardiff, although pickets are expected around local government offices.

More than one union has told the Argus they expect most schools to be closed - with teachers, caretakers, support staff and dinner ladies all off.

Mr MacAskill said this was the biggest strike he could remember since mass action three years ago by health and local government workers over pensions.

Unite national officer for local government Fiona Farmer said the aim is to get employers back round the table to negotiate what she describes as a fair deal for workers, namely a £1 an hour pay rise for local council staff.

Owen Hathway, policy officer for NUT Wales said striking members will sacrifice a day’s pay and pension and the decision "was not taken lightly".

GMB national secretary, Brian Strutton said his members voted three to one in favour of strike action.

"We have tried sensible discussions, we've sought to negotiate reasonably...but to everything we've tried the employers have said "no"," he said. "So we have no choice."

He said that in October, the national minimum wage is predicted to overtake local authority pay scales.

Are you a parent? Have you had a letter from your child's school saying they will shut due to strike action? Let us know by leaving a comment below or e-mail

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