Unite assistant general secretary for public services, Gail Cartmail said: “Once again, the hardworking and dedicated employees in the public sector are the whipping boys for the government’s misguided and discredited austerity agenda.
“Since David Cameron became prime minister in 2010, NHS nurses, librarians, refuse collectors and those working in social care are just some of those who have seen their pay eroded by thousands of pounds in real terms, while government policy has heavily favoured the City and the well-off.
“Many public sector staff are enduring levels of poverty pay, while tax-breaks and sweetheart deals for tax-avoiding multi-nationals are the order of the day.
“It is small wonder that the NHS staff are leaving the health service for better pay and work/life balance either in the private sector or abroad. As a consequence, billions of pounds are being spent on agency staff to plug the gaps. This is no way to run the NHS.
“Public services are the bedrock of local communities, but these have been under systematic attack by funding cuts.
“Some councils have lost more than a third of central government funding since 2010, but more and more is asked of them – the latest being chancellor George Osborne pushing the onus for paying for adult social care onto councils which can now raise a local precept to pay for these services.
“The arrogance of health secretary Jeremy Hunt towards the junior doctors is an example of the disregard that this pro-privatisation government has for public services and the diminishing number of staff who are being asked to do more and more on a daily basis.”
The government has accepted a recommended one per cent pay rise for public sector workers, including doctors and nurses. The awards cover more than one million employees, including staff in the armed forces. The announcement follows recommendations from pay review bodies.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.