The three unions have confirmed their timetable for balloting for strike action. They are each taking their own approach as follows:

UNISON – Issued Notice of Ballots to employers from 17 November 2021. The notices confirm they will be conducting a formal national strike ballot from 1 December 2021 to 14 January 2022. The results will be collated on an aggregated basis. 

GMB – is currently conducting a national consultative ballot (closes Mon 13 December) in order to determine whether there is support for strike action. If there is such support, GMB’s subsequent formal national strike ballot will likely run in January – February 2022 and will be collated on a disaggregated basis.

Unite – will be issuing Notices of Ballot to employers between Friday 7th and Wednesday 12 January 2022. The strike action ballot will be open from Friday 14 January to Thursday 17 February 2022 with an indicative date of ballot results being issued on Thursday 17 February 2022. The results will be collated on a disaggregated basis.

Ballots conducted on an aggregated basis require at least 50 percent of the national membership to vote in the ballot.

A disaggregated ballot means that 50 percent of membership for an individual employer is required to vote. This means that action could be taken at individual council / school level where a turn-out of at least 50 percent is secured (if members vote in favour strike action), resulting in neighbouring councils potentially having different outcomes from the ballot.


There will be no further movement on the pay negotiations until the result of the Unite ballot for strike action is known.

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