Huntingdonshire Council staff to strike over poor pay

Staff at Huntingdonshire District Council are threatening to take a week of strike action later this month as part of an ongoing dispute over pay, says their union UNISON today.

Earlier this year, the council gave its employees a pay rise of 4% plus a one-off payment of £1,000.

Then last month, council managers made some extra money available for a further one-off lump sum. This was after UNISON launched a strike ballot of its members at the Cambridgeshire local authority.

But staff say this will still leave them struggling to make ends meet, and in a recent vote, opted to reject the proposal.

UNISON has written to local councillors urging them to get involved and bring the dispute to a swift end by paying staff fairly.

The union understands that senior managers at the council have now found yet more money and plan to make an improved offer to employees. Although the detail of this is yet to be shared with UNISON.

The local authority is asking workers if they would prefer any wage increase as an extra one-off payment or added to their salaries but spread over several years.

UNISON Cambridgeshire County branch secretary Rob Turner said: “It’s disappointing that senior council managers are failing to take the pay issue more seriously. Staff aren’t happy, and not enough is being done to resolve the situation.

“No one ever wants to go on strike. But these workers are being left with little alternative. They know local government staff in other parts of England and Wales have been offered more.

“Huntingdonshire’s employees aren’t asking for the moon. Just a fair pay increase that better reflects the rising cost of rent, food, fuel, energy and pretty much everything else as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite.

“The threat of strike action has clearly persuaded managers at the local authority to think again. It’s high time they made staff a much better offer.”

Huntingdonshire and several other local authorities are no longer part of national agreements regarding council and school pay. Earlier this year, the national local government employers offered staff a salary increase of £1,925 for 2023/24.