Unite national officer for local government Jim Kennedy said: “All those seeking election on Thursday (6 May) should publicly state beforehand that they recognise the essential work carried out by local authority workers and make a commitment to campaign, if elected, to ensure that they receive a substantial pay rise.

“For too long, council workers have borne the brunt of the Tories’ funding onslaught on local government since 2010 – they have been treated with contempt by successive Tory prime ministers – Cameron, May and Johnson.

“Yet it has been our council workers that have sustained our communities across the land over the last year, and sadly, many have died in the line of duty during the pandemic.

“These unsung heroes of public service have kept our streets clean, cared for our elderly and vulnerable, and looked after our young in the most difficult, and sometimes tragic, circumstances.

While the public fully recognise and appreciate the dedication given to our communities by hundreds of thousands of local authority workers, this generosity of spirit is not reciprocated by the cold-hearted and tight-fisted Local Government Association whose agenda is stuck in a mind-set of continuing to pay poverty wages.

“Now is the time for those that aspire to public office – whether as mayors, police and crime commissioners, or as county and district councillors – to pledge that a much-deserved pay rise for council staff moves centre stage politically.”

 ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Email: [email protected]nion.org

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.