UNISON welcomes TUC report on regional pay
(16/07/12) UNISON has welcomed research from the TUC which shows that government plans for regional pay would cost the economy up to £10bn – and lead to fewer rather than more jobs.
The report, produced by the New Economics Foundation, found that removing that amount of money from local economies could see up to 110,000 jobs lost as public service workers spend less because they are being paid less.
Even accepting the government's argument that private firms can't recruit workers because they can't compete with public sector wages – at a time of high unemployment – the TUC research found that at most just 11,000 jobs might be created across England and Wales.
But local economies would still be hit to the tune of £2.7bn a year as nurses, teaching assistants, refuse collectors and a whole range of workers across public services find their spending power cut.
"These arguments against regional pay are compelling," said UNISON assistant general secretary for bargaining Karen Jennings.
"On top of the costs to the economy as people spend less, it would also hit services, with pay cuts leading to shortages of key staff and increased staff turnover, as workers vote with their feet and seek work in higher paying areas."
The NEF report for the TUC also showed that there is no evidence for the government's assumption that public service pay rates stop people being hired in the private sector – something which backs up similar research by Incomes Data Services for UNISON.
This showed that:
- most large private sector firms have national pay structures, with supplements for London and the South East;
- where the private sector does use 'regional zones' instead of a national pay structure, the zones are often London, then the South East and then the rest of the country;
- official figures show little difference in earnings between regions, outside London and the South East
- official figurs also show that there is very little difference in the cost of living between different UK countries and English regions.
NEF report for the TUC (pdf document)
IDS report for UNISON (pdf document)
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