'Two million' school and council workers to go on strike after GMB and two other unions vote yes

GMB joins the National Union of Teachers and Unison for a mass walk-out planned on 10 July - a ballot for Unite will return its results on Monday

Britain is about to face one of its largest walkouts of public sector staff, the GMB union has said, after as many as two millions workers agreed to go on strike.

The trade union has announced that its members in councils and schools, which make up part of its 620,000-strong membership, have voted three-to-one to stage a mass walkout over pay and conditions on 10 July.

A release by the union said it "looks like being the second biggest dispute ever," once added to the numbers of at least two further unions also staging action.

The 24hr action across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, is in response to workers “serving our community” who are “ignored and undervalued,” the union said, experiencing a pay hike of just one per cent since 2010.

“In October even the national minimum wage will overtake local authority pay scales,” said GMB National Secretary Brian Strutton. “Our members have spoken loud and clear and said they want to go on strike.”

The action coincides with that of Unison, another trade union, whose local government and school workers have also voted for industrial action for the same day.

“We’re expecting 500,000 to go on strike,” a spokesman of Unison told The Independent. “There will be demonstrations organised across the country at branch level. We’re certainly campaigning to get everyone out.”

The National Union of Teachers  (NUT) also decided, at its meeting on 19 June, to call a day of industrial action for 10 July for pay policies which it says are “leading to a teacher recruitment crisis that will be very damaging to our young people.”

It said that 250,000 of its members are affected by the pensions dispute, in which teachers have been asked to pay more towards their pensions which many “cannot access in full until they reach 68.”

A fourth union, Unite, will be closing its ballot for strike action on Monday morning with a result expected that afternoon – possibly increasing the number by a further 70,000.

A Unite spokesman said: “All the indications leading up to the ballot are that people are angry, people have seen their pay drop in real terms by 20 per cent since the Coalition’s come to power. They are saying enough is enough.

“The important thing to realise is that these people are the lowest paid in the sector. They do all the things we take for granted – sweep the streets, look after our kids. It’s a last resort.”

When asked how many people across the entire workforce and four unions could walk out, an NUT spokesman said: “Two million sounds about right.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower