UNISON is to ballot 600,000 workers in local government and schools in England for strikes after 70% of its members rejected a 1% pay offer.
Members in England including thousands working for Kirklees and Calderdale councils, will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.
National officer Heather Wakefield said: “Our members have made it clear that this pay offer is the straw that breaks the camel’s back after years of pay freezes and below-inflation rises.
“This offer is effectively another pay freeze for the majority of our local government and school members, and they have used this consultation to send a strong message that it is insulting and unacceptable.”
Employees e on salaries starting at £14,880 per annum would receive an increase of 1%, with those on lower salaries receiving a slightly higher increase of between 1.25% and 4.66%.
The Local Government Association spokesman said: “In calling for strike action, Unison is further delaying the process of council employees receiving a pay increase this year.
“We know that these have been difficult times for the local government workforce who have worked wonders to keep vital local services running while councils are tackling the biggest cuts in living memory.
“We believe that this is a fair deal for our employees, given the limits of what we can afford, and a fair deal for the taxpayers and residents who use and pay for the crucial services which local government provides.”
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