Dear Colleague

As you know from the recent consultation ballot carried out by UNISON, this year’s pay offer of 1.75% (or 2.75% for those on the lowest grade) was rejected by UNISON members in councils and schools, yet employers have refused to offer more.

As a result, most members working in councils and schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Scotland has its own pay negotiating body) will be balloted on taking strike action. If you receive a ballot paper from UNISON, we believe you are eligible to vote and eligible to take strike action. 

Why is UNISON balloting for strike action, shouldn’t we continue to negotiate with employers?

We continue to try and negotiate with local government employers. After announcing plans for a strike ballot, UNISON and other unions have continued speaking and meeting with employers. But at every opportunity they have refused to budge. Even knowing that we are balloting for strike action they insist 1.75% is their final offer.

How do I vote?

Week commencing 6th December 2021, you will receive a ballot paper, a return envelope and some additional material explaining UNISON’s recommendation to members. The ballot paper asks members if they are prepared to take part in strike action. You should put a cross in the box against your choice on the ballot paper. This must be returned to CES (who are running the ballot on UNISON’s behalf) by 14 January 2022. 

Can I vote online?

No. The law doesn’t allow for electronic voting in these types of ballots.

Is UNISON recommending how I should vote?

UNISON is recommending members vote YES to strike action.

Are member in academies and multi-academy trusts included?

Most members in academies/multi-academy trusts can take part. If you receive a ballot paper from UNISON that means we believe you are eligible to vote and eligible to take strike action.

How Can I support the Campaign?

Tell your colleagues about the ballot and why they deserve fair pay. If your colleague is not a member of UNISON, they won’t be able to vote, so make sure you tell them to join by 3 January 2022. They can join online – it takes 5 minutes at

What Should I do if I have not received my ballot paper?

You should receive your ballot paper by 14 December 2021. If you do not receive a ballot, contact UNISONdirect before 12 noon on 10 January 2022 so they can order a replacement for you. You can also request a duplicate ballot paper online via MyUnison at

What happens if the results are for industrial action?

Once the results are received UNISON will consider the available options. Members will be kept informed.

If members vote to take strike action, how many days of strike action would we need to take?

If members vote to take strike action and we get a turnout of 50% or more, our aim would be to hold an initial day of strike action. But we think we’re likely to need to take further action to secure an improved pay offer. Without a 50% turnout, strike action will not be possible, so it’s important that you vote.

For the latest information, please visit: 


Theresa Kelly

Branch Secretary (Membership Services and Admin)

UNISON Dudley General Branch 

(Direct: 01384 815109)

UNISON Branch:

Facebook page:



Dec 1, 2021