Wednesday, July 16, 2008

2.45% - no thanks

So across Wales council workers have put up their picket lines, closed civic centres, many schools etc in protest at the local government employers "final offer" of 2.45% . The effect seems to have been significant and a further day of action takes place tomorrow. Pictured are a couple of shots from Llangefni and the pickets outside the council HQ.
So I hear you shout what about the politics of this ? Well I think it is a dispute that should have been avoided. For not significant amounts, enough could have been done to make people feel a touch more comfortable and, as inflation has risen, 2.45% does not look too clever.But the politics also includes the fact that the council employers now have a significant Tory voice and I wonder do they want to settle or drag Brown/Labour in to the battle?.
If I was the relevant Westminster Minister - this is not a devolved issue - I would ask people to get round the table, see this year in the context of a three year pay deal (rather than a one off) and bring extra money in to year one.
But I'm not the negotiator so I have to see how the employers respond after two days of dispute.


Ian said...

The only blog coverage I have seen on the strike-well done. I had a tan 'on the line' today but am due for a soaking tomorrow.

Martin Eaglestone said...

Hi ian. Yes I think we are heading for a soaking on day two - that's life..... I thought the media was good for us today and the members eem to have been supportive of their own cause!.

Ian said...

The media have been very good which is crucial to me, as so many of our members are really going to suffer through the loss of pay due to this strike and they need to know that we as a union are doing all we can.
Don't worry, I not going to have a party political rant because I think that all parties are guilty of taking Local Government workers too lightly.
I met a care worker this morning at a picket line on our landfill site-at 5am. She explained with some emotion that unless she could increase her income, there would no longer be enough to cover her living costs. What do you say to someone in her situation?
I've had my rant now, but it does bring home to me why I'm in a union and I only wish that the GMB were out with us.

keithy397 said...

Maybe now, the odd few of you council office staff (namely housing benefit, council tax and revenues) on the picket line fighting what I consider a just cause for more money will treat with respect those of us who can no longer work through ill health. Maybe you'll also refrain from treating us like second class citizens and pursuing outstanding monies from us via the courts therefore exacerbating our financial burden even further. You know who you are. Good luck to the fair minded ones amongst you in your quest. Remember, my loaf is the same price as yours but we dont get to strike.

Martin Eaglestone said...

There are common pulses Ian - I suppose of the sort that underpin the 'One Wales' deal, which mean such disputes can be common territory. A striker is a striker whatever their political colour.