This year has been hard for us all but particularly for public sector workers. At UNISON North West, we appreciate everything you do as a public sector worker. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Grinchy Sunak who has gifted public sector workers a pay freeze for Christmas this year.
On 19th March, the Government published its first key-worker list which included school staff, social care staff and local government workers key to the Covid 19 response.
You have worked all through the pandemic providing essential services for children, caring for the most vulnerable people in our communities and contributing to the local Covid-19 response.
You have put yourself and your family in harm’s way to help others. You do this because you are a public service worker and because you care.
And yet, on 25th November, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a public sector pay freeze was “necessary” to help balance the books. But actions speak louder than words…
- The Government has found money for a 4.1% pay increase for MPs.
- The Government has spent £5 million on an abandoned tracing app.
- The Government has spent over £12 billion on a “world beating” test and trace system widely held to be a failure with regard to suppressing coronavirus infection rates.
- The Government has spent £175 million on consultants to ‘advise’ them – including one company getting £6,250 per day for test and trace work!
- The Government has spent a fortune on contracts for PPE which in many cases failed to deliver on time, or to the necessary quality, or even at all – including a contract for £109 million to a pest control company with no prior experience, a contract for £252 million to a finance company with no prior experience, a contract for £156 million to a loss making company, and a contract for £122 million to a company set up only seven weeks earlier.
- As can be seen from a National Audit Office report, contracts totalling billions have been given to companies – often without any tendering process – headed up by executives who are on personal terms or connected to MPs and even senior ministers through a “V.I.P channel for the politically connected”. This may all be just coincidence, but the lack of transparency has resulted in lawsuits being filed against the Government last month.
If there is Government money to fund cronyism and failure then there is Government money to fund a decent pay rise for public sector workers on the front line of the pandemic response.
Have your say on public sector pay
Join our campaign against the pay freeze. Leave your details below and UNISON North West will be in touch in the new year.
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The above article was first published on the UNISON North West website and for the original article and more information about the Pay Us, Don’t Betray Us campaign please visit the following link: www.unisonnw.org/payusdontbetrayus