Day of strike action in Halesowen and Sandwell on July 10

TEACHERS, social workers and council employees will be among those striking on a day of protest across Halesowen and Sandwell next week.

Unison members voted to strike on Thursday, July 10 with the National Union Teachers and other unions following suit making it the biggest day of industrial action since the General Strike in 1926.

As well as walk outs in schools and council offices there will be demonstrations outside Sandwell and Dudley council houses.

Tony Barnsley, Sandwell UNISON joint branch secretary, said: "In local government we have seen our pay fall by almost 20 per cent in real terms since 2010.

"This has not stopped almost a thousand job losses that has resulted in more stress and work for the remaining workforce."

He added: "This is why our members have voted to strike and why on the 10 July we will picket all workplaces to make sure as many council buildings and services do not function.

"We are determined to stop the drop in our wages and are prepared to take further days of action, together with other trade unions, if necessary."

Mr Barnsley believes the strikers have the backing of the public in their fight with the Local Government Association.

He said: "The last time we went on strike we had a great response from the public and hopefully this time will be the same.

"I think everyone realises how hard it is getting for workers with wages not going up and prices going through the roof."

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "These workers care for our elderly, clean our streets, feed and educate our school children and keep our libraries running, but they receive no recognition in their pay packets.

"They are mainly low-paid women workers, stressed and demoralised, and they deserve better from their employers and from this government.

"This is the group that has borne the brunt of the government's austerity agenda."

The Local Government Association described the strike action as "disappointing" but said it would "not change the pay offer we have made."

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