Carers in day centres, social workers, librarians, and teaching assistants will be among thousands of local council and school support workers in West Sussex set to strike today (July 10) as part of a nationwide action over pay.
Trade union UNISON say the strike is a reaction to a pay freeze in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and below inflation rises in eight of the last seventeen years.
Downlands Community School, Manor Field Primary School, Southway Junior School, WSAPC Burgess Hill The Windmills Junior School are closed due to industrial action.
Hassocks Infant School, London Meed Community Primary School, St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School and Woodlands Meed are all partially closed.
The union say council workers in West Sussex have been left struggling to get by, with some relying on food banks, second jobs and in-work benefits to make ends meet, and that this year’s offer would result in a cumulative real-term cut of almost 20% for more than one million local government and school workers.
UNISON 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.
Dan Sartin, Branch Secretary at UNISON West Sussex said: “Council workers have kept local services running in West Sussex in the face of four years of draconian Government cuts. They care for our elderly and our vulnerable, and educate and look after our children. They deserve better treatment than they have had at the hands of this Government.
“Taking strike action is never easy but UNISON members are sending a clear message to the Government that they have had enough. Low paid women make up the backbone of most local councils and they deserve to be paid a decent wage.
“The employers must get back into talks immediately to avoid a damaging dispute.”
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