Council given 'last chance' by union bosses over strike

UNION bosses say North Somerset Council is drinking in the last chance saloon this week following council employees decision not to take industrial action.

UNION bosses say North Somerset Council is drinking in the 'last chance saloon' this week following council employees' decision not to take industrial action.

A ballot of unitary authority workers across the South West was held by UNISON, the public sector workers union, to see whether strike action should be taken as a result of a below-nflation pay increase.

Union leaders in North Somerset branded council leader Cllr Nigel Ashton a 'bully' three weeks ago after an email sent in his name told employees they would receive a pay rise of 2.475 per cent,backdated to April,before Christmas if they voted against industrial action.

A UNISON spokesman said: "Local Government workers have slammed this year's below-inflation annual pay award, but stopped short of outright industrial action at this stage, effectively putting employers and the Government in the last chance saloon over pay.

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"This is effectively our members' fourth consecutive annual pay cut.

"Since 2003,local council workers across the UK have seen their pay packets falling further behind the rise in living costs, and thousands of low-paid staff suffer chronic financial hardship.

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"We will shortly be submitting our claim for the 2008 pay round. Next year, we expect the employers to end their bargain basement treatment of our members once and for all.

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