July 24 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Council workers say there was no other option but to strike over pay and working conditions today.
About 20 Unison members who are employees at North Norfolk District Council formed a picket line outside the authority’s headquarters on Holt Road, Cromer, this morning.
They later joined the Norwich and District Trades Council rally Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich which included about 600 people.
Council officer Simon Case, lead convenor for Norfolk Unison branch, said: “The coalition government said we were all in it together at the beginning. We accepted that we wouldn’t get a pay rise but now the bankers are getting a 35pc rise, MPs are getting an 11pc rise and people in the private sector are getting, on average, a 2.5pc rise. We are not in it together and that is not right.
“Over the past four years the value of our pay has gone down by 20pc. Our employer has offered us a 1pc pay rise, which is a pay cut because inflation is higher than 1pc. We have asked to go to arbitration but our employer has refused. We had no other option but to go on strike.”
He added no Unison members wanted to strike and were dedicated to public service.
“If our wages are going down 20pc that means the local economy is losing out because we spend money in the local economy. The knock-on effect is damaging,” Mr Case added.
He hoped for future arbitration talks with the council workers’ employer and said pay concerns were affecting staff morale.
Mr Case said other employees at the authority were supportive of the strike.
A council spokesman said: “It is business as usual at the council and there has been no disruption to services. We have below 25pc of staff who are supporting the strike.”
Staff in some of north Norfolk’s schools were also on strike through the National Union of Teachers.
In north Norfolk 12 schools were affected because of industrial action.