Thank you to all our members who voted in the recent consultative ballot over the Local Government Employers’ 1% pay offer. Your branch committee took a clear position that after three years’ pay freeze enough was enough and argued that we should launch a campaign of sustained industrial action with other public sector unions to push back the bosses and smash the government’s pay freeze. Hampshire members backed this position with 63% voting to reject the employers’ offer. However, once all the individual branch consultations from around the country had been aggregated a different picture emerged, with 59% of local government members voting to accept the offer. This will come as disappointing news to many members who are struggling to make ends meet. However, the lesson of the consultative ballot is that where regional and branch leaderships showed that they were prepared to fight over pay, members responded by rejecting the employers’ lousy offer. The failure then of UNISON’s national pay body (the NJC Committee) to recommend members reject what they themselves termed ‘an insult’ is a dereliction of duty, according to UNISON NEC member Jon Rogers, and it is hard to disagree. You can read his thoughts on this year’s pay ‘campaign’ in his recent blog post. The 1% pay increase will now be applied and backdated to April, and details of when this will happen should be available from HCC in due course.