Belfast Telegraph

'2m could join councils pay strike'

Up to two million public sector workers could join a strike next month in bitter disputes over pay, a union official has predicted.

Brian Strutton, national officer of the GMB, announced that local government members of the union will start voting at the end of the week on whether to take industrial action.

Members of Unison and Unite working for councils are also being balloted, in protest at a pay offer worth 1% for most local authority employees.

Mr Strutton said GMB members will walk out on July 10 if they vote Yes, and could be joined by teachers and civil servants who are also embroiled in long-running disputes with the Government.

"Local government workers are the lowest paid in the public sector. Over half a million earn less than the Living Wage," he told the union's national conference in Nottingham.

"The employers should invest in their workforce for a change instead of freezing council tax.

"The prospect is that up to two million public sector workers will be on strike on July 10."

Mr Strutton said councils will want to discuss emergency cover during any strike, adding: "If our members are essential for one day, they should be essential all year and be paid a decent wage."

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