Parliamentary debate on lifting the cap must happen

Over 100,000 people have now signed UNISON’s petition on the parliamentary website calling for an end to the public sector pay cap, making a debate in Westminster look increasingly likely, says the union.

The petition urges the government to lift the one per cent cap, and give everyone who works in the UK’s schools, hospitals, local councils, government departments and police forces a decent wage rise now.

After seven years of wage freezes and pay increases way below the rate of inflation, UNISON says the time has come for teaching assistants, midwives, care workers, civil servants, police clerks and all other public servants to receive a significant income boost.

The petition says that any pay rise must be backed with extra resources, or jobs and services will have to be cut, putting the UK’s already overstretched public services under even greater pressure.

Only yesterday, UNISON learned that police employers have no money for a pay rise for police staff this year. This is because the wage increase announced for police officers last month – 1% and a 1% bonus – is unfunded, so police forces will need to find the extra cash within existing budgets.

Commenting on the petition, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Over 100,000 people have signed our petition calling on the government to end the pay cap once and for all, and to put public sector pay up now. After almost a decade of pay pain, public sector workers don’t just deserve a wage rise, they need one.

“A parliamentary debate must be scheduled on this vital issue as soon as possible. Pressure on the Chancellor is building to come up with the cash that can deliver proper pay rises that at least match the cost of living, without services and jobs having to be cut.

“The Prime Minister has the perfect opportunity this week at her party conference to signal an end to this attack on public services once and for all. The public have had their say – now it’s time for the politicians to act.”

Notes to editors:
– The petition ‘
Pay Up Now! – Scrap the pay cap and give public servants a meaningful pay rise’ is available at:

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