Overwhelming vote for strike action at Blaenau Gwent leisure centres, libraries and parks


Aneurin Leisure Trust staff in libraries, entertainment venues, parks and leisure centres across Blaenau Gwent have voted for strike action after rejecting a below inflation pay offer, equivalent to half a percent across twelve months.

Receptionists, caterers, lifeguards, librarians and others working for Aneurin Leisure Trust organised by UNISON voted by more than 88 per cent in favour of taking industrial action.

Rosie Lewis, UNISON Cymru Wales regional organiser said,

“The overwhelming vote in favour of strike action is a clear message to Aneurin Leisure Trust that their employees have had enough and something needs to change. Staff are struggling to make ends meet and despite their commitment to their jobs and the service they provide to the wider community, they haven’t had a pay rise since April 2016. Since then, inflation has increased by 7 per cent. All the workers are asking for is to be paid a fair wage.

“Aneurin Leisure Trust can afford a better pay offer and the joint trades unions, UNISON, GMB and Unite, urge them to get back to negotiations to find an acceptable way forward.”

Notes for editors

  • Results for industrial action in the form of strike action

Total number of votes cast:                         68

Total number voting “Yes”:                          59 (88.1%)

Total number voting “No”:                           8 (11.9%)

Total number spoiled:                                  1

Turnout:                                                       68.7%


The total number of ballot papers issued was: 99


  • Results for industrial action in the form of action short of strike

Total number of votes cast:                          68

Total number voting “Yes”:                           60 (92.3%)

Total number voting “No”:                             5(7.7%)

Total number spoiled:                                    3

Turnout:                                                         68.7%

  • GMB and Unite are also consulting their members
  • The earliest possible date for industrial action would be Wednesday 7 November 2018
  • The trade unions commenced negotiations with Aneurin Leisure Trust for a cost of living pay rise for all staff in January. UNISON, has reported low pay at Aneurin Leisure means some staff have resorted to using food banks.
  • Staff at Aneurin Leisure Trust have not received a pay rise since April 2016. 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
  • Libraries, leisure, adult education, entertainment venues and parks were transferred from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council employment to the Trust in 2014. Despite government cuts to local councils, directly employed Blaenau Gwent authority staff received a two per cent pay increase this year, which itself is effectively a pay cut in real terms.


Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 53 83 97