Friday, 30 April 2010

Party leaders must come clean on local government pay

UNISON, Unite and GMB are demanding that party leaders and Local Government Association bosses 'RSVP' to an invitation before the election - to come clean on whether they will back local government workers in overturning the pay freeze, or leave them out in the cold.

The Trade Union Side Secretaries to the National Joint Council for Local Government Services - a body set up to negotiate on behalf of 1.5 million local government workers - are calling for the leaders to respond with their stance on supporting a pay award in light of rising inflation, which has seen staff taking a pay cut.


The unions are also demanding a response on whether the leaders would back negotiations though ACAS and their views on the fact that highly-paid public sector staff are still receiving generous pay awards, while low paid workers bear the brunt of the recession. The Local Government Employers wants a pay freeze for 2010/11 and has made no attempts to negotiate with the unions, or provide a formal response to unions' claim for 2.5%, or a £250 flat rate, whichever is higher.

In the Conservatives' 'Invitation to Public Sector Workers' manifesto, Cameron sets out a £18,000 pay freeze limit for workers, yet the Employers organisation - governed by the Conservative-led Local Government Association (LGA) - demands a widespread freeze.


Heather Wakefield, UNISON Head of Local Government, said:

"We are demanding that all parties come clean to our members in local government and say what they really have planned for local government workers, before the election. The Tory-led Local Government Employers want a widespread pay freeze, while the Tory leader says this will only be for those earning more than £18,000 – which one is it Cameron?

More than 60 per cent of our members working for councils earn less than the £18,000 lower threshold for a pay freeze proposed by the party, so it is crucial to voters that the Conservative's respond to our invite to comment. Local government workers want to know which party will support negotiations for a fair pay award, to recognise the hike in inflation, which has left them with a pay cut. Or whether they believe that it is right that public sector bosses enjoy generous awards, while low paid workers bear the brunt.

Local government staff have a vital role to play in helping local communities ride out the recession and may be struggling to pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads. The party that comes into power should be backing these workers and the public who rely on these vital services, not imposing a freeze that leaves workers, such as school assistants, dinner ladies, care workers, out in the cold."


No comments:

Post a Comment