5 July 2017
For immediate use
UNISON, the public services union, today stepped up their fight for fair pay and an end to the public sector pay gap.
In a joint letter to all MPs representing constituencies in the east of England UNISON regional secretary Chris Jenkinson and regional convenor Becky Tye warned of growing concern among public sector workers as rising inflation outpaces incomes.
In 2010 the Government introduced policies to restrict wage growth in the public sector, a two year pay freeze in 2011 and 2012 has been followed by a one percent annual growth cap ever since. The impact has left all workers in the public sector worse off in real terms than they were 7 years ago.
Mr Jenkinson said: “Our members have been asked to tighten their belts for far too long. The rising costs of living are eating away at their wages and many are worried that they will not be able to pay their bills. It’s time for the government to lift the pay cap and give our members a fair pay rise.”
Inflation in the economy as a whole measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) hit a high of 3.7% last month, up from 1.4% this time last year. The lower measure of inflation, the consumer price index (CPI), was 2.7% in June, up from 0.8% in June 2016. Wage growth in the private sector is running at 2.1%, more than twice the rate of wage rises in the public sector.
UNISON regional convenor Becky Tye said: “Quality public services require high skilled individuals who are motivated and feel valued for the contributions that they make. Our members know that the public sector pay cap is not an economic inevitability but a political choice. We now look to the government to recognise the strength of feeling and to appreciate the support we enjoy with the wider public. If there was ever a time to change priorities that time has now arrived.”
UNISON has pledged to keep up the pressure on the government and public sector employers with a series of high profile events held across the Eastern region over the summer period.
For further information contact: Chris Jenkinson firstname.lastname@example.org