Aneurin Leisure dispute resolved by ‘people power’

Staff in libraries, entertainment venues, parks and leisure centres across Blaenau Gwent have voted to accept a much-improved pay offer from employer Aneurin Leisure Trust. The decision by receptionists, caterers, lifeguards, librarians and others formally brings their industrial dispute to a close and this has today (Thursday) been communicated to the Trust.

UNISON says a vote of 88 per cent in favour of striking by receptionists, caterers, lifeguards, librarians and others at Aneurin Leisure Trust forced the employer to concede a much more favourable pay offer. Sister unions GMB and Unite similarly threatened strike action.

Rosie Lewis, UNISON regional organiser said,

“People power and trade union campaigning have won the day at Aneurin Leisure. It’s a fabulous example to anyone on low wages or if you haven’t had a pay rise in ages. You can do something about it; you can challenge it and you can win by standing together with your workmates.

“The overwhelming vote for strike action of Aneurin Leisure workers forced the employer to concede a much-improved pay offer and this has been accepted by the staff.

“We hope this signals the start of a more positive working relationship with the employer in future.”

Notes for editors

  • Staff had not had a cost of living pay rise since April 2016 and some staff have been forced to use foodbanks
  • The trade unions commenced negotiations with Aneurin Leisure Trust for a cost of living pay rise for all staff in January. This year, instead of an increase from the April anniversary, the Trust offered to boost pay by just one per cent for the period between October 2018 and April 2019 rather than a full twelve months. This is equivalent to 0.5 per cent over twelve months and was rejected by UNISON members by more than 90 per cent in a ballot
  • A UNISON ballot for industrial action resulted in an 88.1 per cent vote in favour on a turnout of 69 per cent
  • A further offer of 1.5% for twelve months was rejected by UNISON in negotiations
  • The improved offer below, was conceded by Aneurin Leisure at conciliation talks at ACAS: –
  • 5 per cent backdated to 1 April 2018 up to 30 September 2018
  • Rising to 2% from 1 October 2018 to 31 March 2019
  • A 24 hour stoppage was to take place on Wednesday 7 November but UNISON suspended strike action to allow a consultative ballot of its members on the new pay offer.


Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 53 83 97