UNISON National Executive reps met with Unite and GMB this week, and the three unions stated their respective positions on industrial action and discussed potential next steps.
As you should be aware, UNISON recently balloted Local Government members on industrial action over pay. Whilst there was a large number of members that wanted to take industrial action, we did not meet the legal threshold for taking industrial action.
UNISON’s exec reported our committee’s clear position that it did not feel we had a mandate to take effective national action that could improve the pay offer, and that it didn’t want to take small, isolated groups of members out on strike on behalf of large groups of members that didn’t meet the threshold. Our position was therefore that members wanted and needed the money in their pockets as soon as possible, and that we wanted to move forward to submitting a claim for 2024 and building on the improved participation this year in an even stronger 2024 pay campaign.
GMB, who have not yet balloted their members, reported that they are still intending to run an industrial action ballot, mostly in schools, from 12th September to late October. The earliest possible date they could take industrial action would be 9th November.
Unite reported that they now have a mandate for action in 24 workplaces. Of these, some cover full councils and others are just for individual departments within a council.
Whilst there is not a unanimous position between the unions regarding industrial action, we cannot at this stage, say when any pay rise will be landing in your pay packets.
Following a discussion between the unions, agreement has been reached to:
- Write to the Employers’ Side to ask for an improved offer; and in the meantime/pending a response,
- Convene a meeting of the full Trade Union Side to make a decision on 2023 pay
Both of these elements are currently being worked on with the intention to minimise further delays.
UNISON will be sending a bulk email next week to all members on NJC pay to update them with the position.