Hackney council workers to strike

Hackney council workers down tools over “insulting” 1.75% pay offer

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More than 200 Hackney council workers will strike over an “insulting” 1.75 per cent pay offer, Unite said today (April 6).

Staff working in refuse, building services and passenger services for those with disabilities and special educational needs, will strike between April 25 and 27 and May 3 and 5.

While the rate of real inflation (the RPI) is running at 8.2 per cent and rising, the 1.75 per cent offer, rising to 2.75 per cent for those on the bottom pay point, has been set nationally by the Local Government Association (LGA) for 2021/22.

Unite is urging Hackney council to reject the LGA recommendation, table a proper pay rise and prevent the possibility of long-running strike action.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Our Hackney council members have had enough. They have shouldered 11 years of pay austerity and now they are faced with another insulting pay offer as prices soar.

“These members have Unite’s full support in rejecting the LGA’s derisory proposal and in striking for fair pay. Hackney council needs to think again and come back with a better deal.”

Unite says that the 1.75 per cent offer is a cut and comes after 11 years of pay freezes that have seen wages for council workers plunge by 22 per cent in real terms.

The Hackney strikes follow industrial action currently being held by local authority workers in Northern Ireland over the same offer.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab added, “The fault for bins not being emptied, school busses not running and building services not being available will lie clearly with Hackney council. Unite has approached the council for talks – the council declined.

“We will now take the appropriate action to secure a level of pay for our members which recognises rising living costs. The news is full of stories about the impact of prices increasing – our members are not immune from this. It seems that the only ones not aware or not listening are Hackney councillors.”

By Ryan Fletcher

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