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New moves in the public sector pay battle

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Issue 2584
Local government workers joined the pay pinch grinch last week
Local government workers joined the “pay pinch grinch” last week (Pic: Unite)

Local government employers have offered Unison, GMB and Unite union members in England and Wales a below-inflation 2 percent pay offer for each of the next two years.

The two-year offer would run from 1 April 2018 and covers most council and school support staff who earn more than £19,430.

The unions are putting the offer to their committees. They should reject it.

Local government workers and supporters were joined by the “Christmas pay pinch Grinch” last Friday to deliver a Christmas card to Tory chancellor Philip Hammond.

The protest for a better pay rise was organised by the Unite and GMB unions.

Meanwhile, Unite and the GMB have put in a 5 percent pay claim for local government craft workers.

They do housing and maintenance work on council and social housing properties.

In addition to a 5 percent rise, the claim is also for a 35 hour working week, an additional day’s holiday, tool allowance to be doubled and tool insurance to be paid.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has ruled out industrial action over pay.

Tory health secretary Jeremy Hunt instructed the independent pay review (PRB) that it could recommend pay rises above the 1 percent public sector pay cap.

But Hunt was clear that any pay increases would be linked to “productivity”.

Nurses in the RCN had voted 78 percent for industrial action in a consultation.

Fourteen health unions and the RCN put in an above-inflation pay claim of 3.9 percent and a lump sum of £800.

The unions should stick to their pay claim—and ballot their members for strikes.

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