Thousands of school and council workers including refuse workers could walk out over low pay.

More than 600 schools and local authorities across the South East began voting on strike action yesterday.

School workers including teaching assistants and caretakers could strike, while council staff range from refuse workers to social workers could also down tools.

Strikes could happen as soon as November 9. The ballot closes on October 24.


Sharon Wilde, GMB national officer, said: “School staff, refuse collectors and council and town hall workers are the hidden glue that keeps our society together. 

“They help our children learn, they look after our most vulnerable residents, they clean our streets, and they keep us all safe. 

“They deserve proper value for the work they do. 

“After more than a decade of Conservative cuts and a crushing cost of living crisis, it’s time they were given the proper pay rise they need.” 

A spokesman for the National Employers Organisation said: “The Employers’ offer has been repeatedly reaffirmed as full and final. We urge GMB to call off its ballots so that the 2023 pay award can finally be paid to employees who have been waiting for it since April.”

A 3.88 per cent pay increase was offered on April 1.