Smash the pay freeze and end austerity, says UNISON general secretary

Speaking today (Tuesday) to UNISON’s annual national conference in Brighton, general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“We live in a kingdom dangerously divided into the haves and the have-nots. Some are living in misery and poverty – or even in extreme danger as we have seen last week.

“The catastrophe at Grenfell Tower was the epitome of a tale of two cities. People living in wealth and luxury side by side with those living in poverty.

“The Prime Minister appears to be unable to give the support people need or be the leader this country wants. This contrasts with the warmth and compassion shown by the public, and the bravery shown by the heroes of the emergency services.

“Public service champions – including nurses, hospital porters and council workers – are working together and supporting each other. We live in a country full of heroes.

“Jeremy Corbyn is the man capable of taking this country in the right direction. Some said he was unelectable but people saw hope and someone worth voting for. They’ve seen a man who can be Prime Minister.

“It’s time for a Labour government with our values and our manifesto.  A manifesto against job cuts, police cuts and pay freezes that ends the senseless pain of austerity

“This past year has been about hard work. We’ve taken the fight to the government, to employers and to the courts. UNISON’s ethical care charter will ensure decent conditions for care workers and decent care for our loved ones.

“This government’s austerity pay policies have crushed public services under their heel. They have ground down public service employees.

“They’re worried about their jobs, their families and can’t go through another five years of poverty pay. Now is the time to shout enough is enough. This is the year to smash the pay cap.”

Note to editors:
– In a debate at conference today, delegates voted for industrial action strategies to end the pay cap including co-ordinated action across UNISON and the public sector, and to campaign for a £10 an hour minimum wage

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