Possible pay rise strike

By Harriet Ernstsons Thursday 01 May 2014 Updated: 02/05 08:49

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Buy photos » County Hall, home of Worcestershire County Council. (s)

COUNTY council workers could walk out over a pay rise dispute.

UNISON has announced it will ask its 600,000 local government and school members whether they want to go on strike after 70 per cent of their members rejected this year's pay rise offer in a consultation.

The offer would mean around 50,000 of the lowest paid staff would receive a rise just slightly above inflation and the remainder of the workforce would receive just one per cent.

Workers covered by the offer include teaching assistants, planners, administrators, social workers and engineers.

Heather Wakefield, the union's head of local government, said: "Our members have made it clear that this pay offer is the straw that breaks the camel's back after years of pay freezes and below inflation rises.

"This offer is effectively another pay freeze for the majority of our local government and school members and they have used this consultation to send a strong message that it is insulting and unacceptable.

"Local government workers have kept services running in our communities in the face of the Government's harsh austerity agenda, and they deserve more than just a bare minimum pay increase."

A Worcestershire County Council spokesman said: "We are currently monitoring the situation and making contingency plans to minimise disruption and protect essential services as far as possible in the event that UNISON members vote in favour of industrial action."

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