Speaking at the TUC public sector pay rally in Westminster later today (Tuesday), UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis will say:
“Today inflation hit its highest rate for five years, three times the level of pay rises.
“The government’s pay cap is cutting deep – for care workers, hospital porters, cleaners and all other hardworking public service staff.
“Years of wage freezes and pay rises below the cost of living have brought hard times to workers and their families, and big headaches for employers battling to hold onto experienced staff and attract new recruits.
“The cap needs to be scrapped and replaced with proper pay rises. A small wage increase that falls well short of price rises is actually a pay cut.
“Ministers must come up with the cash to fund a decent pay rise for all public servants. If they don’t, everyone will pay the price as hospitals, schools, local councils and police stations are forced to cut back even further on the services.
“On police pay, the government might have lifted the cap, but ministers are making lots of claims that simply don’t add up.
“They say they want to give police officers a pay award, but it’s not clear how this is to be paid for. Without extra funding, services and jobs will go and there’ll be no money to give a wage rise to police staff who keep the system running.
“Nor must the government cherrypick who gets a pay rise. The public sector works as a team – a doctor saving a life has an entire hospital behind her, and a social worker helping an abused child a whole social services department. Frontline workers are the most visible part of the public sector team, but all workers are valuable.
“The magic money tree was discovered when the prime minister needed DUP support, now the government must make it reappear for public service workers who deserve a decent pay rise.”
Notes to editors:
– Dave Prentis will be speaking at the TUC’s public sector pay rally in Westminster this evening. The event starts at 7pm.
– With over 130,000 signatures, UNISON’s petition ‘Pay Up Now! – Scrap the pay cap and give public servants a meaningful pay rise’ will be debated in Parliament on 4 December. The petition is available here.
Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: firstname.lastname@example.org