NI council workers set to strike over offer of 1.75% pay hike

Unite the Union has said that council workers and Housing Executive staff are going to stage a week of strike action starting this coming Monday.

It comes after workers voted to reject an offer of a 1.75% rise for the year 2021-22, which Unite says “would mean another real terms pay cut”.

The strike will involve staff at all 11 councils, the Education Authority, Housing Executive, North West Regional College, Belfast Metropolitan College, St Columb’s College, South Eastern Regional College, Lumen Christi College and the Northern Regional College.

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The Bank of England has warned that UK inflation could hit 7% this year.

Here is how Unite says the votes for strike action broke down in each business unit (but the union did not say what the turnout for each area was):

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council: 96%;

Ards and North Down Borough Council: 97%;

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council: 96%;

Belfast City Council: 92%;

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council: 82%;

Derry City & Strabane District Council: 94%;

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council: 94%;

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council: 94%;

Mid and East-Antrim Borough Council: 84%;

Mid-Ulster District Council: 93%;

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council: 95%;

Education Authority: 94%;

NI Housing Executive: 94%.

Unite’s lead regional officer for local authorities, Gareth Scott, said: “These ballots confirm the determination of Unite members in local authorities to secure a decent cost of living increase.

“The majorities in favour of strike action in councils, the education authority and the housing executive were exceptional; our members are calling time on real terms pay cuts.”

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