Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Unions Call for Strikes over [Pounds Sterling]4,000 Allowance; DISPUTE OVER LONDON WEIGHTING

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Unions Call for Strikes over [Pounds Sterling]4,000 Allowance; DISPUTE OVER LONDON WEIGHTING

Article excerpt

Byline: ROSS LYDALL;TIM MILES

UNIONS are set to escalate their campaign to get better pay for London workers.

More strikes will be called if bosses fail to meet their demand for a [pounds sterling]4,000 London weighting allowance.

Postal workers in the capital will walk out on Wednesday, leaving up to 16 million letters stuck in the post.

Students will today be unable to register or collect their loan cheques at three University of London colleges as lecturers take action.

And London's 32 town halls will be hit on 16 October as Unison - the largest local government union - calls 56,500 members out on strike.

But more action will follow as unions seek to drive home their demand for the [pounds sterling]4,000 flat rate to compensate workers for the cost of living in the capital.

Julia Coleman, Unison's head of local government in London, said further one-day strikes and selective action was being considered to resolve the dispute, which dates from May last year.

The Communication Workers Union, which represents 28,000 postal staff in the capital, will also press for more strikes.

Ms Coleman said: "Looking at November and running into the Christmas period, we will be seriously looking at [action in] schools. We are also looking at those financial areas that bring revenue into councils. And we will be looking at the very basic support to councils that keeps everything ticking, such as mail rooms and switchboards."

Though Unison does not represent teachers, headteachers can be forced to close on health and safety grounds if caretakers take industrial action. One strike in March shut 70 schools.

Town hall staff now get up to [pounds sterling]2,850 a year London weighting. Lecturers get [pounds sterling]2,134, while postal workers get up to [pounds sterling]3,281.

Their claim was today boosted when an independent expert said the [pounds sterling]4,000 demand was "in the ballpark" of how much public sector workers should receive for inner London. …

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