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It will take action to win on pay

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Issue 2583
Unison leader Dave Prentis has previously argued for genuine rises
Unison leader Dave Prentis has previously argued for “genuine rises” (Pic: Matt Cornock/Flickr)

Local government employers have offered a million council workers in England and Wales a 2 percent “rise” for each of the next two years

That’s still far less that the rate of inflation, and is therefore a pay cut in real terms. And the money will have to come from existing budgets.

Unison union general secretary Dave Prentis and other local government unions have previously argued for “genuine rises” to make up for a decade of pay cuts.

They have to be pushed to reject this offer and start a fight to win more. They could win allies.

Civil service workers have voted for action in a consultative ballot. Further education lecturers are poised to start strike ballots in some colleges.

Health unions have put in a claim for a 3.9 percent rise plus a lump sum of £800.

But don’t wait for the TUC union federation to coordinate action. The TUC’s Public Services Liaison Group (PSLG) of union leaders was rumoured to have met on Monday. Asked if public sector pay was discussed at the meeting, the TUC said it wasn’t the sort of thing they released details on.

At TUC Towers the slogan seems to be, “Don’t mention the class war.”

The Tories are in an awful mess—but there’s nothing inevitable about them falling apart. And Tory Jeremy Hunt has just announced a new attack on heath workers’ pay.

We need action to force real pay rises from the Tories.

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