Trade unions GMB and Unite have split from Unison over their response to the increased offer from local government employers for English, Welsh and Northern Irish staff.
Both unions will hold a consultative ballot of members on whether they will accept the 2.475% offer, announced last month after six months of negotiation, an increase on employers’ initial bid of 2%.
They would only ballot for industrial action if GMB’s 250,000 local government members and Unite’s almost 100,000 council staff reject the offer.
By contrast, Unison, which has more members than the other two unions, is to ballot members on industrial action, after its local government negotiators rejected the 2.475% offer. A final decision will be taken by its industrial action committee shortly.
The GMB and Unite leaderships have not recommended the offer to their memberships. A GMB spokesperson said a conference of lay delegates yesterday concluded that the offer was “poor” but that it should be up to members to decide whether to accept it. Unite’s leadership has advised members that 2.475% was the best that could be achieved through negotiation.