With UNISON, Unite and the GMB having rejected their initial three year Pay Offer (1%, 0% and 0.5%) COSLA moved on Friday to impose an even poorer 2 year pay freeze (0.65% and 0%) on local authority workers.
- Cosla gamble on the effect which the pro-public sector cuts hegemony (which has been fostered, first by the last Labour Westminster government and then by the current Condem government) has upon their own employee group as well as the general public. They won’t be blind to the general acceptance (even amongst their own, largely depoliticised employee group) of the ‘shared pain’ messages which have been emanating from all corners.
- Cosla gamble on an assessment of union leadership which places that leadership to the left of their membership. Cosla will also be aware that behind the public anti-cuts campaigns being run by the unions there is no unanimity as to union tactic. In effect Cosla gamble on a lack of strategic planning by the unions. By striking whilst the iron is hot, Cosla gain the ‘upper hand’ … the unions are forced to ‘react’.
- It is in Cosla’s interests to manufacture a confrontation with their employee group now – as opposed to waiting til later… When the severity of the cuts bite the likelihood that public anger and sympathy with both union campaigns and employee action will increase.