Key workers strike over single status

The bitter dispute over single status is growing with more strike action being taken by the City Parking Attendants and members of support staff at Holbrook Primary School.

UNISON has now given the Council official notice that their members in Holbrook Primary School and the City Parking Attendants will be coming out on strike on the 7th 8th and 9th of February. This follows a recent ballot of the members resulting in a 100% vote for strike action.

The dispute, which has already seen over 6 weeks of strike action being taken by UNISON members, is the longest running of its kind anywhere in the UK. UNISON says that if the Council fail to come back to the table and negotiate on all of the issues, more action will follow from other workers in key areas.

Neil Swatman, Communications Officer for the branch says “Last week, Stella Manzie, said that It was extremely disappointing that we have chosen to make the education of children one of the casualties of this dispute. The truth of the matter is that we are all casualties of this dispute and that is something that the Council are responsible for and not our members. The Council has imposed a pay package that sees some of this authorities lowest paid workers losing serious amounts of money from their salaries. Our members in Holbrook Primary and indeed every school in the city work hard to support the education of our children. Many of these workers have children in the schools they work for and have the utmost dedication in what they do. The parking attendants often have to deal with difficult situations, work in all weathers and often be on the receiving end of violent attacks. Despite all of this, staff have been rewarded for their years of hard work and dedication by having their salaries and indeed livelihoods attacked!

“Taking strike action is never an easy decision for public service workers to take. However we have given the Council long enough to talk to us about our issues. Our members want the Council to stop wasting public money on legal fees and trying to stop strike action and actually get back to the table and start talking with unions again. Deputy Leader, Tony O’Neill has repeatedly said that the package they have ‘implemented’ is ‘value for money’ we say that quite clearly, it is not. “We need a properly funded agreement over single status one which does not further discriminate against the low paid mainly women workers in this authority. The Council are able to find funds to pay for a new Private Finance Initiative contract to replace every street light in the city at a cost of more than 60 million pounds...don’t they think we should be getting the basics right first, paying people fairly. Investment in public services should also mean investment in staff”.

Posted By

Feb 1 2007 12:48


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