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GGCA members would back Unite in industrial action over public sector pay

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Over 500 GGCA members within the civil service clerical workforce have voted in favour of supporting Unite the Union’s decision to ballot on the growing cost of living crisis and pay negotiations with the Gibraltar Government.

Unite the Union balloted its members to seek a mandate for industrial action if pay negotiations with the government were not fruitful.

Unite’s ballot closed last Friday and the Chronicle understands the union will announce the results on Tuesday.

Separately, the GGCA sought the views of its members and asked them: “If the cost of living discussions are not positive and Unite goes into industrial/strike action, would you agree to support the Unite action?”

The online ballot held by GGCA last week resulted in 558 members voting in favour of supporting Unite, and eight voting against.

GGCA President Wendy Cumming told the Chronicle the results of the ballot had been shared with the Gibraltar Government and with Unite the Union.

On Thursday morning Ms Cumming will be meeting with the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, to discuss the outcome of the ballot.

The GGCA vote comes after Unite’s public sector members were balloted against the backdrop of pay negotiations with the Gibraltar Government.

Unite said it was seeking a mandate for industrial action should negotiations not prosper.

When launching its ballot Unite told its members that its Public Sector Branch Committee had been engaged with the Gibraltar Government since January 2022 to highlight concerns about the impact of rising inflation, the cost of living crisis and the “subsequent erosion” of public sector pay and conditions.

This was echoed by Ms Cumming on Monday.

“We are not at all surprised by the number of people voting in favour of supporting Unite because this is something that cuts across the entire public sector membership,” she said.

“Don’t forget, we are going into our fourth year of no cost of living pay rise and the rate of inflation has been very high.”

The GGCA in the past has expressed its concerns over the lack of a pay rise, especially for those in the lowest pay grades.

“Our members have been expressing concern about this throughout, but especially from the second year moving forward,” Ms Cumming said.

“We are getting representations especially from the entry-grade civil servants, namely the AAs and AOs.”

“If they are an AA or an AO and they have a mortgage and a child, they are really struggling.”

The GGCA has a membership of some 1,700 public sector workers, but only some 1,300 eligible members were able to vote in this ballot.

“Although we haven’t had the biggest turnout for this ballot, even on the biggest, biggest issues we only have around 500 members voting,” Ms Cumming said.

“For our standards this is a big turnout.”

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