A full-scale strike ballot by workers employed by a Norwich City Council-owned company is on the cards after they overwhelmingly rejected a 4.2 per cent pay offer in a consultative ballot, Unite said today (May 4).
Unite, which represents about 200 workers at NCSL, such as grave diggers, housing maintenance staff, street cleaners and those tending the city’s parks, said the pay offer for the year starting 1 April 2022 was ‘woefully inadequate’, given that the RPI rate of inflation has soared to nine per cent.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Norwich city council are asking an already low paid workforce to take a pay cut – that’s simply unacceptable to Unite. This vote sends a clear signal that they need to think again about their woefully inadequate pay offer.
“The council must now tell NCSL to table an offer that addresses the cost of living crisis or strikes will happen. Unite’s members have the full backing of their union in this fight.”
Unite regional officer Adam Oakes added, “NCSL is wholly owned and funded by the city council, which has failed to deliver on its promises over the last two years to put in place the funding required to bring the wages of the lowest paid workers in the authority up to that of its directly paid staff.
“The next step will be holding a strike ballot, within the next month, with the aim of achieving a decent pay award for this dedicated group of workers who keep Norwich’s streets and parks clean, and repair the council’s housing stock.”
Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers’ living standards.
By Shaun Noble