Members will be aware that the pay talks for the anniversary date 1 April 2021 have been ongoing for some time and the trade unions had taken the step of balloting their members seeking their support for industrial action over this pay offer. To remind you the pay offer was for a 1.75% increase.
UNISON’s ballot closed on Friday 14th January, and it has now reported on the outcome as follows:
Voted ‘yes’ to strike action = 70.2 per cent
Voted ‘no’ to strike action = 29.8 per cent
Turnout = 14.5%
The Trade Union Act 2016 requires that for any strike action to be lawful, at least 50 percent of the members entitled to cast a vote must do so. As the turnout has clearly failed to reach the 50 percent threshold, UNISON cannot now proceed with industrial action related to the 2021 NJC pay offer. UNISON’s national local government committee will be meeting tomorrow (Tuesday 18 January) to discuss the next steps.
The position with regard to the other unions is as follows:
GMB’s National Local Government Committee will be meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss its next steps in light of the result of its consultative ballot that closed on 13 December. The outcome of this ballot is not known.
Unite is currently in the process of issuing strike ballot notices to employers and will begin balloting its members in the next week or so with a closing date of 17 February. Unlike UNISON, which conducted an aggregated ballot (meaning it required at least 50 percent of its national membership to cast a vote), Unite’s result will be collated on a disaggregated basis, which means that strike action could be taken at each individual council where a turn-out of at least 50 percent is secured if members vote in favour of strike action.
The National Employers will be meeting on 31 January to determine their position.
Further updates will be advised as soon as possible.