Public sector workers hit in pocket over past decade, unions say
2 months ago
The TUC published its figures as hundreds of thousands of workers go on strike.
The average public sector worker is over £200 a month worse off compared to a decade ago, new research suggests. The TUC published its figures as hundreds of thousands of workers go on strike on Wednesday and protests are held across the country over the Government’s controversial planned new law on minimum service levels during industrial action.
The union organisation urged ministers to stop “attacking” the right to strike and instead get round the table to negotiate in good faith with unions on public sector pay.
The TUC figures showed the average public sector worker is £203 a month worse off compared to 2010 once inflation has been taken into account.
Several unions representing teachers, civil servants, university lecturers and train and bus drivers are striking.
The TUC said up to 500,000 workers will be on strike, making it the biggest day of industrial action since 2011, when more than two million workers and over 30 trade unions took part in strike action on the same day over public sector pensions.
The TUC says the legislation is “shortcutting” normal scrutiny procedures and being “steamrollered” through parliament without proper consultation and scrutiny.
The bill gives ministers power to impose new minimum service levels through regulation.
TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said:
“The right to strike is a fundamental British liberty, but the Government is threatening to sack workers for exercising that basic right.
“Nobody should lose their job if they take lawful action to win a better deal at work.
“It’s undemocratic, unworkable and very likely illegal.
“That’s why today we’re standing up for our right to strike, for our public services and for the hundreds of thousands of workers striking to defend their pay and conditions.
“Our message to ministers is this – stop attacking the right to strike and start negotiating with unions in good faith on public sector pay.
“With inflation running at over 10%, the last thing working people need is for ministers to make it harder for them to secure better pay and conditions.
“Public sector workers face a double whammy.
“First ministers hold down their pay and then they attack their fundamental right to strike.
“This will do nothing to solve the staffing crisis in our schools and in the NHS.
“After years of brutal pay cuts, nurses, teachers and millions of other public servants have seen their living standards decimated and are set to face more pay misery.
“Instead of scheming up new ways to attack the right to strike, ministers should get pay rising across the economy, starting with a decent pay rise for workers across the public sector.”