Message of support

Open Letter to all UNISON Members from the General Secretary – Dave Prentis

Dear UNISON member, Council and school workers strike for fair pay –

10 July UNISON members in schools and councils have voted to take strike action to seek an improvement on the local government employers’ 1% pay offer. The first strike day will be Thursday 10 July.I am writing to ask you to take part in the strike and send a strong message to the employers that you have had enough of poverty pay. UNISON’s aim is to get an improved offer for you. Taking strike action might seem like a big step, especially if it is your first time. However, I would urge you to take part, alongside hundreds of thousands of your fellow UNISON members and other unions too. If you face hardship from taking strike action, you can seek help from UNISON.  UNISON has worked hard to get the employers to offer you more. Their pay offer doesn’t keep pace with price increases and will impact badly on your pension too. We have been forced to take action as a last resort after all attempts to negotiate have so far failed. We want to get the employers back to the negotiating table with us, but at the moment they are not prepared to do that, or to enter independent arbitration talks either.  As a union committed to providing quality public services, we regret the potential disruption our strike might cause. The services you provide are essential to the whole community, but you deserve better than what is effectively another pay cut.  We need to show the employers that we are prepared to defend our pay and to send a message to the government that enough is enough. They can’t keep cutting services, jobs and pay and expect us to accept it. Please make a stand on 10 July. A well-supported strike is vital if we want to get the employers to listen to reason and show you the respect you deserve.Best wishes Dave PrentisGeneral Secretary