Unions reacted with glee as Acas awarded local government workers a pay rise of just 2.75% - the tenth year in a row that local government staff have received a below inflation settlement.
Despite the ACAS offer award being significantly below the official rate of inflation (let alone the real cost of living) and just 0.3% above the employer's offer, UNISON were unable to hide their delight at the end of the dispute. The union's press release stated:
The PCS union has reached agreement with the government over pay after suspending its strike action last month.
The exact details of the agreement seem unclear. The union is clearly attempting to make it look like a victory.
However, the pay offers still remain below inflation and so constitute real terms pay cuts or civil servants. Furthermore, the deal trades off "efficiency savings" (so cuts) with potential pay deals for remaining workers and so will divide the workforce against itself.
Libcom's analysis of what went wrong with the industrial disputes over the rising cost of living in 2007, and how to do things better in 2008.
A 'Summer of Discontent', Gordon Brown preaching pay restraint, union leaders talking about 'co-ordinated strike action', sound familiar? It should, because exactly the same things were being said last year.
Despite a vote in favour of discontinuous strikes over below inflation pay, the National Union of Teachers has announced there will be no further action.
A quarter of a million teachers walked out on April 24, disrupting nearly 10,000 schools in action which inspired many other workers in their fight against the government's 2% pay cap. This at a time with inflation running at around 5% constitutes real terms pay cuts.
However, the NUT then declined to ballot for action coordinated with other school workers in UNISON who struck on July 16-17.
Thousands of NHS workers, including mental health nurses, paramedics and ambulance staff, have voted to strike in protest at a derisory pay deal.
Unite, which balloted 77, 000 workers, said there was a 3-1 vote in favour of industrial action, with just over half backing walkouts. The union said industrial action would start before Christmas although officials would not decide until later this week what form the action will take.
The NUT will reveal this week whether it will stage a series of one-day strikes which would trigger widespread school closures in the run-up to Christmas.
200,000 NUT members have been balloted on whether they are prepared to take "discontinuous strike action" in opposition to the government's plans for below-inflation pay increases. The strike ballot closes today, with the leadership meeting later in the week to consider the result.
Scottish Water workers are being balloted on industrial action after the employer imposed a below inflation pay rise which had not been agreed.
The imposition of a 3% rise over 15 months – worth 2.4% over a year – ended six years of partnership working between the company and staff.
"This pay cut is simply not acceptable when inflation is rising – recently reaching 5.2% - energy prices are rising by anything up to 30% and food by 11%," said branch secretary Steve Scott.
150,000 local government workers in Scotland are being balloted to see if they accept an improved pay offer of 3% following two one-day strikes.
Members of UNISON, Unite and the GMB are being consulted on the new offer which was made after their previous "final" offer of 2.5% following the well observed industrial action.
UNISON, the largest union is recommending members reject the offer.
A quarter of a million teachers in the NUT are being balloted for a campaign of discontinuous industrial action over a three-year below inflation pay offer.
The ballot, which closes on 3 November, would give the union leadership the ability to call further strikes without having to re-ballot of the membership.
It follows a well observed strike on April 24, which coincided with stoppages of civil servants, FE lecturers and Shelter charity workers.