Unison claim £4,000 London
Unison members in local government are taking selective industrial
action for up to four weeks, across London, commencing on 14 July.
Unison lodged a claim for £4,000 London weighting for all
council staff in July 2001 to alleviate the excessive cost of
living and working in the capital.
The strike action will take place in 21 of London's 32 Boroughs.
The strike action will hit a variety of services with the aim
of persuading council leaders to make a serious offer to the workforce.
The action is timed to coincide with the meeting between the employers
and Unison at the Greater London Provincial Council on 16 July.
Julia Coleman, Unison regional head of local government and trade
union side secretary, said:"Council leaders have brought
this action upon themselves. The serious escalation of this dispute
has been caused by the contempt shown to local council workers
across London. With other public sector workers receiving increased
London weighting in the fire service, in teaching and in the NHS,
it is about time council leaders made a serious offer to UNISON's
"The only offer we have had had to be squeezed out of the
councils following strike action earlier this year, however the
£3.86 a week tabled, for a small part of the workforce,
hardly constituted a serious offer.
"By stepping up the campaign, UNISON is showing how serious
it is about this dispute. Council leaders will have a lot of explaining
to do to their residents, if they do not resolve it in the very
David Eggmore, chair of UNISON's London local government committee,
"UNISON has held back from lengthy industrial action until
now. UNISON knows how much the public relies on the services provided
by our members. However, it gets to a point, when the employers
are being intransigent, that we have to make a stand.
"If the employers were relying on the claim for £4,000
London weighting to fade away it shows how out of touch they are
with their workforce. UNISON's members are very determined to
win their campaign for decent London weighting. All they ask is
for something similar to that paid in other parts of the public
Strike action will take place in the following boroughs:
Barnet, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith,
Haringey, Havering, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Kingston,
Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Southwark, Sutton, Tower
Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth.
Unison Web site
Council will provide emergency
Unison has voted for a month-long,
all-out strike in Hammersmith & Fulham's housing benefits,
homelessness and main switchboard services. The strike is part
of Unison's London-wide action over pay.
The housing office in Glenthorne
Road will be severely affected by the proposed action as Unison
has refused the usual exemptions for staff providing 'life and
limb' services. In these circumstances, the council will be able
to provide a skeleton, emergency service only.
Emergency arrangements 14 July
2003 - 8 August 2003 are as follows:
An automated answering system
will run on the main switchboard to minimise the number of calls
needing to be dealt with by remaining staff not on strike. A comprehensive
list of all the council's main direct dial numbers is being sent
to every home next week via the borough magazine HFM.
A limited service will be
available at the housing centre in Glenthorne Road, dealing with
emergency enquiries only. A reduced telephone service will also
operate on 020 8753 1396.
An emergency-only service
will also run from the housing centre. We are asking all agencies
referring homeless families to us to restrict their enquiries
to emergencies only. This will enable us to provide help to those
who really do have no alternative.
The numbers for the housing needs
service are 020 8753 4143 and 4144.
Managing Director, Geoff Alltimes,
says: "Unison has got it wrong in targeting Hammersmith &
Fulham. We already have some of the best terms and conditions
in London and a deserved reputation as one of the best employers
in the country. Staff already benefit from a very competitive
salary, higher than many other boroughs in London. If we were
to meet the full costs of the Unison claim, it would add £100
a year to band D council tax bills. It is just not possible.
"We also believe that targeting
services used by some of our least well-off and vulnerable people
is unacceptable. A month-long strike in these services is likely
to have a profoundly damaging effect on individual people, including
The dispute is about a claim for
more money for council staff working in London but inner London
weighting allowance was incorporated into basic salary, with the
consent of the unions in April 2000. Staff in Hammersmith &
Fulham already enjoy:
· a minimum earnings guarantee
(no full-time member of staff earns below £7.76 an hour)
· generous leave and flexible
· one of the best pension
schemes in the country.