In just seven days’ time, on 27 October, Rishi Sunak will deliver the autumn budget and provide details of the government’s spending priorities for the next three years.
UNISON is concerned that he will find a way of continuing the pay freeze in public services – which is why the union has created a petition to pile pressure on the chancellor to invest in public services and the people who provide them.
General secretary Christina McAnea said: “This time last year, when the government delivered a one-year settlement, it announced a pay freeze for most public services. We can’t let them do the same this year.
“Rumours are rife that the chancellor might formally end the pay freeze – but without providing the resources for government departments or devolved nations to fund pay rises. That would make a mockery of the prime minister’s level-up pledges.
“UNISON’s petition tells the chancellor that services are teetering on the brink and that, as a nation proud of its public services, people are angry about the way they have been treated.
“Members and the public can send a clear message that we need proper sustained investment in public services and a clear end to the pay freeze.”
The petition follows UNISON’s formal representations to government during the spending review period, setting out four clear demands:
- rebuild all our public services, by delivering the sustained long-term investment necessary to employ and train the number of staff needed to ensure that our services are there when we need them;
- ensure government departments, devolved nations and local authorities have the funding necessary to give people working across the public services a decent pay rise;
- create fairer and safer workplaces, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, including introducing a comprehensive sick pay scheme and outlawing fire and rehire tactics by employers;
- build a more equal and sustainable post COVID-19 society, in which the inequalities that have become so evident during the crisis are addressed as a matter of urgency – this must include abandoning plans to bring the £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit to an end.
UNISON is urging members to sign the petition, share it with colleagues and friends, and together send a clear message that the country is #ForOurServices and that our vital public services need and deserve real investment in the coming years.
For more information or to find out how to get involved further, visit our campaign page