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What have we been up to?


Over the past 3 weeks you may have noticed our website has not been updated. However, this is not as a result of our branch being out of the spotlight – if anything it has been the reverse and I wanted to update you all on the work we have been doing.

  • Local Government Pay 

We have been involved in national pay committee meetings following the result of the consultative ballot on the pay offer of 1.75%. The results were overwhelmingly, 75% of members working in Local Government & Schools voted to reject the pay offer.

So what happens next?

GMB union met with the Local Government employers on Wednesday 13th October 2021. We communicated the clear strength of feeling among local government, council and school workers about how disappointed and angry people are and why members have rejected the plans for pay cuts.

The employers’ 1.75% offer is wholly inadequate and with energy bills skyrocketing, shopping bills going up, and inflation high and rising, it represents yet another pay cut for workers who have seen a quarter of the value of their pay wiped out since 2010.

GMB, alongside other unions, has formally written to the employers to lodge an official pay dispute for the 2021/22 pay round.  This means all members will now get a vote to decide on whether to take strike action to stop these pay cuts. We will start our consultative ballot in November.

GMB urges Local Government employers to get back round the table and improve the pay offer – NOW.


A consultative industrial action ballot will start in November 2021. Your local GMB branch/office will be contacting you shortly to discuss how you can vote in this consultative ballot and how you can get active in your pay campaign to stop these pay cuts.

Please ensure your details are up to date as only GMB members will get a vote in our ballot.


Help build the union in your workplace.

1. Update your details – every GMB member will get their vote make sure your details are up to date.

2. Become a workplace organiser – step up to be your work colleagues voice in your workplace!

3. Recruit a member  – Strength in numbers! The more people who join GMB, the stronger we can make your work better.

  • Walker Grange Consultation     

We have met with our members, who rightly so are concerned about the proposals amongst other options, to close Walker Grange. We continue to listen to our members and will be led by their views. It is not right that Sandwell MBC are considering moving residents and staff out of this community facility when we can see no justification.

During our meeting with members, one resident who did not want to be named, spoke to GMB Regional Officer Justine Jones saying:

The people who work here are not just providing a service. We’re a family, why should I move away from the home I have built here?

  • Workplace visits

Our reps have started to attend workplaces over the past month, including visits to schools and undertaking health & safety visits. These are all being undertaken following COVID secure safety practices, ensuring we can speak to our members in the safest of ways.

If you are worried about anything at work, please get in touch and we will arrange a visit to your workplace – or we can book in an online meeting/arrange a COVID safe space to meet if you are working from home.

  • Return to the branch office

Over the past month we have also returned to work from our office in Smethwick. At present this is on a part time basis, but if you need to speak with us you can call us not only on our mobile numbers or email us, but if your call is not urgent please call on 0121 569 5990. If we are not in the office, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as we are able to.


Thank you for your ongoing support and remember – You are the GMB Union.
If you need us, please get in touch, or if you want to get more involved in your workplace let us know and we will arrange an informal conversation.

Darren James, GMB Branch Secretary





Posted: 17th October 2021

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