The Joseph Rowntree Foundation reports this week that the “average” family needs to earn more than £40,000 for a decent life, and a single parent with one child needs to earn £27,000.
The figures have risen by 28% since the coalition came to power, while earnings have risen by only 9%.
It’s just one more statistic that underlines the impoverishment of millions of Britons, while at the top, bosses get away with eye-wateringly huge pay and perks packages.
Those same bosses are the ones who would argue against paying the living wage or paying a decent pay rise to workers, including our own members. For example, Paul Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail, which regularly lambasts UNISON members, is paid £1.8m a year and had a pay rise of 5% last year.
Every single one of our members contributes more in one day to their communities and to the economy than the editor of the Daily Mail does in a year. Yet they are treated with disdain and expected to survive on low pay, low rations.
So the fact that UNISON members are fighting back against pay freezes and lower than inflation pay deals, should come as no surprise.
Local government members are gearing up for a day’s strike on 10 July. More will follow them. And we will be joined by sister unions in that dispute.
No-one wants to have to take strike action. It is the last resort and we will be going all-out to gain maximum support and maximum turnout. That’s the only way to shift the ground.