EPSU backs action by UK local government workers, civil servants, fire-fighters and teachers out on strike 10 July

(8 July 2014) EPSU sends its solidarity greetings to local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland following their vote to take industrial action in support of their pay claim. Members of GMB, UNITE and UNISON will be out on strike 10 July. Over a million local government workers experienced a three-year pay freeze between 2010 and 2012 and a below inflation pay increase last year. Taking account of inflation, local government pay is on average 18% less than it was four years ago. And this doesn’t take account of many of the cuts to overtime and other allowances that have been imposed by local authorities. Over half a million council workers - mostly women and mostly part-timers – earn less than the living wage. EPSU believes that these workers are more than justified in rejecting the shameless 1% pay offer from the local government employers. We expect that the industrial action will bring the employers back to the negotiating table with an improved offer. Already this year we have seen warning strikes in local government in Germany and the Netherlands and the threat of strike action in local government in Norway help put pressure on employers to secure a better deal. Greek public service workers have also organised a strike on 9 July against the forced dismissal of over 6500 workers by the end of the year. We extend our support and solidarity to the civil servants taking industrial action 10 July. These workers have also seen effective cuts in purchasing power and their employer, the UK government, refuses to negotiate a decent pay offer with the PCS union. They will be joined by the [fire-fighters organised in the FBU->art10560]. The firefighters are in conflict over pay, pensions and the closure of fire stations which would have an impact on their ability to react in time to emergency call-outs. Teachers organised in the NUT have also called on their members to strike on 10 July while health unions are balloting their members to take strike action in autumn. The coalition government is failing to recognise and respect the work public service workers do. If the employers in the UK don’t budge, further action may follow. EPSU will stand with its affiliates in these actions. After years of austerity, jobs cuts, wage freezes and loss of purchasing power, Europe's public service workers deserve a pay increase. The demands of the unions are in line with EPSU's wage guidelines. Public services have kept the economy going taking in many ways including by caring for our children, the sick, the old. They have rescued and saved lives in natural disasters, flooding and fires. Public service workers provided the care for those in accidents and hospital, etc. It was not these millions of workers that caused the crisis. Why should they pay while the super-rich increase their wealth year on year? We wish the striking workers success. - {{[see our photos gallery->https://www.flickr.com/photos/94657608@N02/sets/72157645199051658/]}}