Public sector workers in the UK were calling for the lifting of seven years of pay restraint as part of the European Federation of Public Service Unions’ (EPSU) campaign to mark public services day today (Friday 23 June).
Unite, the country’s largest union which has more than 200,000 members in the public sector, called on prime minister Theresa May to honour the Labour party’s pledges on public services, including a pay safety net of £10-an-hour.
Unite assistant general secretary for public services Gail Cartmail said: “The people who care for us, provide health and education services and look after our elderly and vulnerable neighbours say today they urgently need more pay.
“Across the country those who run towards danger to save us are suffering the worst-ever era of pay policy imposed over seven years of Conservative rule.
“It is shameful that health professionals are forced to turn away from the NHS because they can no longer afford to work on less pay, faced as they are with continuing rising prices.
“Since 2010, the pay of the majority of NHS staff has been eroded by 17 per cent in real terms.
“It doesn’t have to be like this. Labour says it will lift the public sector pay cap, honour the recommendations of the pay review bodies and introduce a pay safety net of £10-an-hour.
“Today, as public sector unions across Europe call on their governments to end austerity and pay a fair wage, we, in Unite, call on Theresa May to match Labour’s pledges.
“From today Unite will join other unions in the UK in an escalating campaign on behalf of members who tell us ‘enough is enough’.
Unite members working in the NHS and local government, as well as youth and community services were gathering in their workplaces at lunchtime to share experiences and post ‘selfies’ on social media to support the EPSU initiative.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.