UNISON, the union representing 850,000 local government workers, hit back at local government employers who are refusing low paid staff, including nursery workers, home carers, housing workers, leisure and parks staff, school meals and cleaning, the £250 pay rise promised in this week’s budget.
Heather Wakefield, UNISON Head of Local Government, said:
“It is a disgrace that the local government employers are refusing to give even the lowest paid workers a rise this year. The workforce is overwhelmingly female, and overwhelmingly low paid. 200,000 earn less than £12,500 year, three quarters earn less than £21,000. This cold hearted decision brings real misery for hundreds and thousands of families struggling to cope with inflation running at 5% plus – and that’s before the increase in VAT hits home.
“Most councils budgeted for a pay increase this year, and for the next two years. There is money available to pay staff a rise, but not the political will. How can councils expect staff to help them deal with the harshest budget for decades when staff are so obviously not valued.”