Up to 2 million members of Unite, National Union of Teachers, Public and Commercial Services Union, Fire Brigades Union, Unison and GMB will all be taking strike action together on 10 July.
Gloucester and District Trades Council are organising a march meeting at 11.30am at the Gloucester City Council offices in Gloucester Docks, marching to a rally at Shire Hall. If you can share transport from Stroud please let us know.
This is the biggest co-ordinated strike action for years. Stroud Against the Cuts encourages our supporters to support the strikes in whatever way possible.
Why is the strike happening?
The National Union of Teachers have produced a video explaining why the strike is happening: .
They have also made a leaflet for parents (a pdf file here)
They describe the reasons for striking as "excessive workload and pointless bureaucracy" (with teachers working an average of nearly 60 hours a week), opposition to the imposition of counter-productive performance related pay, concerns about the number of teachers, attacks on pensions, and the nature of government/union talks. (click for more information from the NUT)
Unison have also produced a video explaining the reasons for their members in local government taking strike action:
They say: "Most UNISON members are low-paid, part-time women workers, struggling to pay their household bills. Losing pay for strike action is not something they do lightly.
Our members are not asking for the 14% pay increase company bosses and bankers are getting. Or the 11% MPs will see. They are just asking for a rise of at least £1 an hour.
That would mean almost half a million council and school support workers currently earning below the Living Wage of £7.65 an hour could come off in-work benefits." (See more from Unison)
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says: "The long-running dispute over firefighters’ pensions will see a further day of strikes at the same time as a walk out by local government workers, teachers and civil servants over a range of issues, including attacks on pay and pensions and workloads.
The strike will last between 10am and 7pm and will be the fifteenth in the FBU’s campaign. The union is also expected to announce further action later this week. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The FBU has wanted to settle our dispute for a long time, but the government at Westminster is simply not listening. “We are therefore proud to take strike action alongside our colleagues in other unions on 10 July." (Click for more information from the FBU. Firefighters will also take further strike action later in July)
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union has also produced a video:
They say: "Across the UK, pay cuts have damaged the economy and caused real hardship for millions of people. If pay had kept pace with inflation, average civil service pay would be £2,300 higher than it is now. But the government has announced that the pay cap will continue in 2014 and 2015 and possibly beyond.
We have submitted a pay claim to the Cabinet Office, which seeks a £1,200 or 5% pay increase. We have sought central talks on our claim. Now is the time to get behind this campaign as we go from strength to strength in challenging the government’s low pay agenda." (click for more from the PCS)
Unite the Union says: "Unite is seeking a £1-an-hour increase in pay for the local council workforce which has 400,000 employees earning below £15,000 a year and a million earning less than £21,000.
Unite national officer for local government Fiona Farmer said: “Our members have endured four years of pay cuts in real terms and they have now voted overwhelmingly to strike on 10 July to drive home the message to ministers that ‘poverty pay’ in local government must end."
Unite’s members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland voted by 68 per cent to take strike action and by 79 per cent to take industrial action short of a strike after enduring four years of cuts in real terms." (click for more from Unite)
The GMB union says: "GMB members serving school meals, cleaning streets, emptying bins, looking after the elderly, helping children in classrooms and in all the other vital roles serving our communities are fed up with being ignored and undervalued.
Their pay has gone up only 1% since 2010 and in October even the national minimum wage will overtake local authority pay scales. Their case is reasonable, the employers won't listen and don't care, no wonder they have turned to strike action as the only way of making their voices heard." A ballot of members saw a 73% vote in favour of going on strike. (click for more from the GMB)