SUPPORT for the strike by council admin workers has exceeded all expectations, according to Unison.
The trade union’s Kirklees branch secretary Paul Holmes said that only five of the 150 workers at Kirklees Council’s computer centre in Huddersfield town centre crossed the picket line yesterday morning.
In addition, the strikers have collected £1,000 in donations from members of the public and council colleagues.
“I don’t think it could have been more successful really,’’ he said. “It has been above and beyond what was to be expected.
“I think we have tapped a nerve. People are wondering who is next.
Around 60 of the 435 Unison striking members picketed four Kirklees Council premises yesterday morning.
They were outside the Civic Centre 1, which houses the finance department, housing benefit, council tax, auditors and accountants and Civic Centre 3, home of planning, the chief executive and housing.
The administrative workers – many of whom are the first point of contact for the public – also picketed the council’s High Street personnel HQ and its computer centre.
According to Mr Holmes Kirklees Council stated 18 months ago that 750 admin staff would be reduced to 500. Since then, around 200 have been made redundant.
He said: “The council can live with 550 jobs, but they want to cut the wages of 40 people by £30 to £60 a week and 93% to 94% of these are women.
“The council is picking on the lowest paid. They are threatening to cut the pay of all sorts of people, but nobody earning over £50,00 has been affected. Kirklees had an underspend of £5m last year.”