{meta} Agenda item - Notice of Motion

Agenda item

In Support of Trade Union Rights

 

To be moved by Councillor Jack Youd and seconded by Councillor Michelle Barnes.

 

1. This Council notes:

 

a)    Trade unions have played a pivotal role in British history to improve the material conditions and dignity of working class people. This includes the foundation of the Labour Party to serve working people in Parliament.

b)    Living standards and rights won by trade unions help define the UK today. From maternity pay and sick pay, to the weekend and job security were fought for and won by trade unions not simply gifted by a benevolent government.

 

c)    Wages have stagnated for most and fallen for many since 2010. Now a higher tax burden on average earners coupled with low economic growth and high inflation is creating the biggest cost of living crisis for decades.

d)    The Health Foundation think tank estimates that nurses are paid £1,583 less than in 2011.

e)    In contrast to wages, profits of the largest companies operating in the UK were up 34% at the end of 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels.

f)     In Salford, we have endured central government funding cuts of 53% since 2010. Which equates to £232m of cuts and unfunded budget pressures.

g)    The LGA estimates councils will face a funding gap of £8 billion by 2025.

h)    Faced with these cuts from the central government, the local government workforce has endured years of pay restraint with the majority of pay points losing 22 percent of their value since 2009/10.



2. This Council Believes

 

a)    The recent wave of industrial action by trade unions across both the private and public sector is the democratic decision of trade union members in response to declining living standards, weakening of job security and reducing conditions of employment.

b)    Anti-trade union legislation in the country means that achieving a successful national strike ballot across various employers is extraordinarily difficult but the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) and Communication Workers Union (CWU) have recently overcome these obstacles and delivered resounding results for strike action.

c)    Recent polling, following the performances by Mick Lynch on the media, is showing an increasing positive attitude towards the current industrial disputes.

d)    The Conservative government’s undermining of public sector pay also undermines pay in the private sector by pitting worker against worker.

 

e)    Rather than dealing with the root cause of industrial action the Conservative Government are seeking to implement even further anti-trade union legislation such as the use of agency workers during strikes and attacks on the devolved Welsh Labour Government’s own Trade Union Act.

 

3. This Council resolves:

 

a)    Write to Mick Lynch to congratulate him in his sterling work on promoting trade unionism to the nation.

b)    Exemplify that the City of Salford supports trade unionism by actively supporting trade union access in local government and council commissioned services.

 

c)    Support the pay claim submitted by UNISON, GMB and Unite on behalf of council and school workers, for an increase of £2,000 or the current RPI rate, whichever is the greater (along with the various conditions claims proposed).

 

d)    Call on the Local Government Association to make urgent representations to central government to fund the NJC pay claim, rather than forcing councils to make further cuts and increasing taxes on residents to finance pay awards

 

e)    Write to the Chancellor and Secretary of State to call for a pay increase for local government workers to be funded with new money from central government.

 

f)     Meet with local NJC union representatives to convey support for the pay claim and consider practical ways in which the council can support the campaign.