Libraries in Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Winterbourne among those to close as Unison members take strike action in pay protest
MOST South Gloucestershire libraries will be closed tomorrow (Saturday, September 28) due to strike action.
Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Winterbourne libraries are among those affected by the action.
Members of Unison voted to take part in one day of industrial action in response to changes to South Gloucestershire Council policies on enhancements and allowances paid to staff, to be introduced on 1 October.
The union balloted 190 members on the council’s plan to introduce new contracts on staff who work weekends and night shifts, which Unison says will cut people’s pay by 10 per cent.
Huw Williams, South Gloucestershire Unison branch secretary, said the changes effectively made Saturdays a ‘normal working day’.
He added: "The results of this industrial action ballot show the depth of anger our members feel at having a massive reduction in their wages. These staff carry out work which is demanding, low paid and vital to the local community. For these staff to be treated with the contempt of a 10 per cent pay cut at the same time as the wage freeze for the public sector over the last four years is dreadful.
"Unison approached the council before the start of the ballot process requesting a meeting with councillors to discuss the dispute but this request was refused. Our members are determined to fight for justice and to ensure the council stop scapegoating lower paid workers."
The council said the full impact of the action would not be known until Saturday.
A spokesman said: “The council is working to ensure that service disruption to the public is kept to a minimum.
“Members of the public have been notified of closures via signs at public libraries. People who had booked to attend Discover festival events at these libraries have also been directly notified.”
Libraries to be closed all day tomorrow are Bradley Stoke Library, Chipping Sodbury, Emersons Green Library, Hanham, Kingswood, Patchway, Staple Hill, Winterbourne and Yate. Thornbury Library will also be closed due to previously scheduled maintenance works.
Other libraries at Cadbury Heath, Filton and Downend will be open but may also have to close at short notice.
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