UNISON leader visits Ipswich as local government workers vote on strikes

Christina McAnea smiles at the camera

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea is to visit Ipswich later this week as council and school support staff vote on whether to strike over pay.

Christina McAnea will speak at a rally on Friday outside Suffolk County Council headquarters Endeavour House as local government workers call for a pay rise of 2% above inflation.

Staff from district councils and schools from across the county are expected to join the rally.

Since 2010, the value of local government pay has fallen by 25% compared with the cost of living. The wage offer made by the local government employers of a flat rate rise of £1,925 falls a long way short of workers’ expectations and needs, says UNISON.

The union is asking more than 360,000 refuse collectors, social workers, teaching assistants, librarians and other staff across England and Wales whether they will take action on pay.

Speaking ahead of the rally, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Council and school support staff love providing the services that keep communities in Suffolk going but all too often that dedication is taken for granted.

“Local government and education budgets are being cut to ribbons and staff are left trying to hold things together with fewer and fewer resources.

“With bills, rents and mortgages continuing to rise, these workers need higher wages to keep their heads above water. None of them want to go on strike but without drastic action it doesn’t look like their employers or the government will listen.”

The rally will take place outside Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX from 12 noon to 12.45pm on Friday 9 June.