Some of you might like to use this FAQs about the strike from Unison's point of view:
· I need a decent pay increase, but I
can't afford to strike, what can I do?
believe you can't afford not to strike. We have lost nearly 20% of the
value of our pay since 2010, and if we do not take a stand now we will continue
to see our pay eroded indefinitely. If you are in genuine financial need, the
UNISON branch has a hardship fund to which you can apply.
· Does striking ever really achieve
Each time we have taken strike action in recent years we have won
far more than the days' pay we have lost: in 2008 we won an additional 0.35% pay
increase, and in 2011 we stopped a 50% increase in pension contributions. In
2013 our local indicative ballot for action, which got a large ‘yes’ vote,
secured improvements to the new contract. Even the one-day action in November
2011 over the pension scheme resulted in a better deal than the Government had
previously been willing to offer.
strikes have won huge improvements for workers, including the weekend, much
shorter working days, holiday pay, sick pay, maternity pay, pensions and more.
Of course, they don’t always win, but strikes have achieved more for working
people than any other form of protest.
· I don't want to look like a
troublemaker, could I get in trouble from taking strike action?
will not be alone. Thousands of workers in Camden and hundreds of thousands
across the country will be on strike. So we cannot all be victimised! Also as
we voted yes, it is expected that union members will follow the democratic
decision of their co-workers, so joining the action won't even mean you voted
for it necessarily. Finally, taking official strike action is legally
protected, and any punitive action taken against you for it is unlawful.
· To be honest pay is not the biggest
issue for me, I'm more worried about job security
we all? Job cuts are real concern for all of us; however it would be very
difficult to have a lawful national industrial action ballot around this issue
(or other issues like service closures). However, as has been demonstrated by
years of pay freezes and huge job cuts, pay freezes
do not save jobs. And the best way to deter further attacks on jobs,
conditions and services is by showing the employers (nationally as well as the
local council) that we are prepared to take action to defend ourselves. That
means delivering a solid vote for action.
· I don't like striking, why can't the
union negotiate something better?
unions have been trying to negotiate pay rises since 2010. However, short of
any industrial action, they have been unsuccessful. If we want more than 1% we
will have to be prepared to take action.
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