The Unison union has begun balloting all its Northern Ireland members in health and education for strikes against the cuts.
The ballot is over budget cuts—from job losses to pay cuts.The union has produced a special eight-page magazine calling strongly for a yes vote in the ballot.
It is full of rank and file voices talking about why they will strike.“I’m a low-paid worker,” says hospital domestic Roisin Byrne.
“I can’t afford to go on strike but I know it could make a difference, which is why I am willing to do it.”
Irene Graham, a nursery assistant, adds, “School meals are being affected, and for some it’s the only hot meal they get in a day.”
And Pamela Dooley, vice chair of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ Northern Ireland Committee, says, “We are in no doubt that this is a time for our movement to go on the offensive and to come out fighting.”
Unison faces scores of cuts all over Britain too—and all their words are just as true here. Northern Ireland Unison sets an example to follow.
The ballot closes on 20 September.
Public sector workers in the Nipsa union in Northern Ireland will ballot from 30 September for a strike over government plans to attack pensions and cut pay and jobs.
Nipsa’s general secretary has written to all members explaining that the timing of the ballot will enable Nipsa members to take action alongside unions in Britain in November
Plans are being made for a powerful campaign to win a yes vote, including leafletting and local meetings.