Spring school strikes loom after union vote

Credit: Birmingham City Council

Employees of Birmingham City Council have voted for strike action as tensions rise regarding equal pay disputes.

87% of the GMB Union members are in favour of industrial action, aiming to address the longstanding issue of pay discrimination within Birmingham City Council.

Schools are poised to be the initial area affected by strikes this spring, with specific dates yet to be finalised.

However, other services throughout the council are also anticipated to experience disruption.

The GMB Union, which represents the largest staff body within the council, is pressing for a clear timetable to address the equal pay liability, currently estimated to exceed £867m.

With the council scheduled to approve its budget on Tuesday, they face various financial challenges, including the need to generate £300m in savings over the next two years.

Birmingham City Council has confirmed it has received £1.255bn in Exceptional Financial Support (EFS) from the Government which must be paid back through £750m of asset sales.

Alice Reynolds, GMB organiser, said: “This is a major escalation in GMB’s campaign to end the pay discrimination faced by women workers at Birmingham City Council. We’ve been calling for the Council to set a timetable for settling equal pay claims for months. Now their inaction means Birmingham faces the threat of industrial action in our schools this spring.

“Council bosses have outlined drastic cuts to spending, yet not one women worker has been re-paid the wages that have been stolen from them. Our members are sending a loud and clear message that they refuse to pay the price for a crisis they didn’t create. We are consulting with members and Reps about the next steps and will be announcing dates for a formal strike vote in the coming days.”

Birmingham City Council has been contacted for comment.

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