Date 19 August
UNISON General Secretary supports 100,000 members on strike on
Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, will tomorrow tour picket
lines, address a major rally and explain to commuters why members
are striking for fair pay. Dave will join UNISON's Scottish Secretary
Matt Smith to support around 100,000 members of the largest council
union, who will be on strike with colleagues from the GMB and Unite
Today he said "Our members are taking this action very reluctantly.
They care deeply about the vital services they provide and those
who depend on them and we apologise for any disruption. However,
members feel that they have no choice when the employers' offer
is effectively a pay cut.
"I believe the public understand the frustration at an offer that
would lock council workers into a 2.5% pay offer for three years,
when inflation is way ahead of that and rising. Yet the employers
have failed to invite us back to talk to them since before the strike
ballot was called."
Dave and Matt will tomorrow join pickets at 07:15 at the City
of Edinburgh Council headquarters at Waverley Court, where they
will launch an advertising trailer. They will then go, via pickets
in Cockburn Street and the City Chambers, to Waverley Station at
08:45, where they will distribute leaflets to members of the public,
explaining why UNISON members are taking action.
The pair will then support picketing workers at West Lothian Council
in Livingston (10:00) and Bathgate (10:30), before travelling west
to Glasgow to join pickets at the City Chambers (12:00).
Dave Prentis will then address a rally in George Square, Glasgow
at 12.15pm. The full itinerary for the General Secretary is below.
Dave Prentis and Matt Smith will be available for interview.
Please contact Chris Bartter, Communications Officer, to arrange
this today, Tuesday, or on Wednesday please contact Matt Smith.
Contact details are below, including for Dougie Black, Regional
Officer and Secretary of the TU negotiators.
Note for editors The itinerary for Dave Prentis and Matt
Smith's tour of picket lines is below. Please note also that UNISON
members will be staffing picket lines and holding rallies across
Scotland, with rallies and demonstrations in Paisley, Inverness,
Motherwell, Dundee, and Inverurie. Earlier news releases have detailed
these. Please contact us for updates or check the website at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/localgovt/pay2008/events.html
There will also be a running blog with the latest news and messages
of support at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/localgovt/pay2008/strikeday.html
ITINERARY for Dave Prentis and Matt Smith.
EDINBURGH 07:15 - 08:30 - Join pickets outside City of Edinburgh
Council HQ, Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8
8BG 07.15 - 08:30 - Launch advertising trailer highlighting the
reasons for the strike. (The trailer will tour Edinburgh before
going to Dundee for a lunchtime rally at 12 noon in City Square.)
08:45 - 09.15 - Distribute leaflets to general public outside Waverley
Station (expected to be at top of station ramps at Waverley Bridge)
WEST LOTHIAN 10:00 - 10.15 - Join pickets at West Lothian House,
Almondvale Boulevard, Livingston. 10.30 - 10.45 - Join pickets at
Lindsay House, North Bridge Street, Bathgate.
GLASGOW 12:00 - 12.15 - Join pickets at City of Glasgow Council
HQ, City Chambers, George Square, Glasgow. 12.30 pm - 2:00pm - Rally
at George Square. Speakers will include Dave Prentis
For Further Information Please Contact: Matt Smith, Scottish
Secretary, 07771 548997 (m) Dougie Black, Regional Officer, Secretary,
TU negotiators, 07958 121 851(m) Chris Bartter, Communications Officer,
07715 583 729(m)