MORE THAN a quarter of a million public sector workers across Yorkshire look likely to walk out over pay next month after strike action came a step closer.
Members of the GMB union are set to join industrial action on July 10 following a three to one vote yesterday.
Earlier this week, local government employees in Unison backed the strike, with members of Unite expected to follow suit in their vote on Monday. It would mean the government faces a walkout of up to two million council staff, teachers and civil servants across England and Wales.
The regional leader of the GMB Neil Derrick said the vote represented the strength of feeling over the Government’s offer of a one per cent pay rise.
Mr Derrick said: “In Yorkshire local councils have had enough of being blamed for the economic downturn and punished because of cuts. Workers have lost 18 per cent of the value of their wage over the past five years.”
“What has happened over the past few years is that cuts have largely been on public servants. They are being forced to work even harder. There have been 40,000 jobs lost in councils in this region alone.”
Both the GMB and Unison have planned picket lines in the region’s cities and towns from 7am on July 10.
“These are the people doing a public service day-to-day. They are looking after children and the elderly, they are dinner ladies and library workers. The fabric of society.
“This strike will remind people how valuable they actually are and that value should be reflected in their pay offer.”
GMB national officer Brian Strutton said “Our members have spoken loud and clear and said they want to go on strike. We’ve sought to negotiate reasonably, but to everything we’ve tried, the employers have said no. So we have no choice.”