area avoids worst of the strike action across Somerset
social workers, refuse collectors, street cleaners and teaching
assistants will be among thousands of local council and school
support workers across Somerset striking today (Thursday) as part
of nationwide action over pay.
parents in the Burnham-On-Sea area were warned that schools could
be affected by the disruption, the area appears to have avoided
the worst of the action.
and Highbridge Libraries are open as usual - despite several across
the county being hit by the strike.
Ross-Osborne, Assistant Branch Secretary to UNISON Somerset County
Branch, said: "While we will be on strike our members will
be showing their commitment to our communities in Somerset that
we believe that public services are important and worth fighting
clear that if we want to preserve them in the future then the
staff that provide them deserve fair pay for the work they do.
Anything less will inevitably lead to poorer services in time
as staff struggle to make ends meet and keep a roof over their
heads. With price rises outstripping wages for the past six years,
and with interest rate rise predicted to rise sharply in the next
two years, something has to change."
added that local government workers "have long been amongst
the lowest paid in the public sector and the government has had
their pay and conditions squarely in its sights since 2010."
pay freeze in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and well below inflation rises
in 2013 and 2014 has sent the pay packets of local government
and school workers plummeting back to the level of the 1990s."
council workers in Somerset have been left struggling just to
get by, with some relying on foodbanks and the false economy of
in-work benefits to make ends meet. This years offer would
result in a cumulative real-term cut of almost 20% since 2008
for more than one million local government and school workers."
said it is urging the employers to get back to the negotiating
table with an offer that recognises the invaluable contribution
members make to their local communities.