The budget is only a few weeks away, and that’s why UNISON’s Pay Up Now campaign has been ramping up the pressure on politicians to act.
In recent weeks we’ve secured the unanimous support of the TUC and the Labour Party for real and meaningful pay rises for all public sector workers. More than 125,000 people have signed our Parliamentary petition, meaning that MPs will now have to debate our call for real pay rises.
But we have to continue to make our voices head – and that means taking our campaign to our local communities, and to the streets. So over the next few weeks they’ll be rallies, demonstrations and public events to show the unity of our movement and the strength of our support.
It was great to see our North West Regional Secretary Kevan Nelson speaking at the People’s Assembly demonstration in Manchester last weekend. Now we have to build on that with further demonstrations to ramp up the pressure on MPs.
Hence my speech at the UNISON Scotland Pay Up Now! rally in Edinburgh on 7 October – to demand an end to the pay cap and real terms wage rises for all public sector employees and make the case for increases that, at the very least, restore public sector pay to pre-Tory austerity levels.
And then on 17 October I hope many of you will join me to stand with those from across the union movement, in Parliament Square in the heart of Westminster, to call out with one voice for fairness for all public servants.
Across the country, MPs are coming under increasing pressure to show whose side they’re on, and stand with those who serve our communities, teach our children and care for our loved ones.
Together, we can help them make that vital decision.