Food Standards Agency workers call for fair pay

Local government conference hears that UNISON needs to build recruitment in the agency

Local government conference 2023 set, platform and rostrum, seen from back of hall, behind delegates

Workers who play a critical role in making sure our food is safe to eat are undervalued and overworked, delegates at UNISON’s local government conference were told.

A meat hygiene inspector told conference: “Our pay is under attack. For the last 13 years, we’ve had meagre pay rises”.

They continued by saying that UNISON needs to recruit more members within the FSA and among its contractors. To do this, he said, “we must continue to do what works – negotiate and fight for our members.”

Another delegate, who inspects chickens, added: “I can no longer afford life’s basics, let alone life’s luxuries”.

As well as fighting for fairer pay, UNISON members within the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are also battling privatisation and outsourcing.

Delegates carried a motion calling on the service group executive to:

  • negotiate for higher pay for members in the FSA through collective bargaining;
  • promote opportunities for members to learn new skills;
  • organise in new areas of the FSA and encourage members to become more active; and
  • oppose privatisation and deregulation of meat hygiene inspection.