Hackney services could be compromised if strike takes place

Hackney Town Hall entrance. Picture: Hackney Council

Hackney Town Hall entrance. Picture: Hackney Council - Credit: If you have not been credited to

More than 200 Hackney Council staff are set to strike over six days this and next month because of an “insulting” pay rise offer.

Unite union has called members to strike between April 25-27 and May 3-5. 

Staff have reportedly been offered a 1.75-2.75 per cent pay rise, which falls below the inflation rate of 8.2pc. This figure has been set nationally by the Local Government Association [LGA].

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham has called on Hackney Council to reject the LGA recommendation, table a “proper pay rise” and prevent the possibility of “long-running strike action”. 

She said: “Our Hackney Council members have had enough. They have shouldered 11 years of pay austerity and now they are faced with another insulting pay offer as prices soar.

“These members have Unite’s full support in rejecting the LGA’s derisory proposal and in striving for fair pay. Hackney Council needs to think again and come back with a better deal.”

Unite said wages for the council staff have dropped by 22pc in real terms since 2010. The potential Hackney strike follows on from industrial action currently being held in Northern Ireland.

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The union’s regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The fault for bins not being emptied, school buses not running and building services not being available will lie clearly with Hackney Council. Unite has approached the council for talks and the council declined."

A Council spokesperson said: “We know that the cost of living crisis is affecting our staff and understand their anger, however pay for local authorities is negotiated at a national level and we’re not able to make local pay deals.

“National negotiations concluded in February, and staff have already received the increase in salary agreed with unions, and back pay for the last financial year. We are unclear why following these negotiations and pay award, Unite have now decided to take strike action.

“We are concerned about the approach being taken by Unite and urge them to reconsider their strike action. This action will affect the vital frontline services that residents, including those who are vulnerable, rely on the most.

“We will continue to speak to Unite and will update residents on any changes to services should the strike go ahead.”

LGA have been approached for a response.