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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 February 2012

Three-year pay freeze hits hard

Over 1.6 million council workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are to have their pay frozen for a third year in a row.

Bosses in local government have again used the argument that if pay is not frozen, there will be more cuts and more job losses. Yet there has been a haemorrhaging of jobs and services in local government in the last two years while the pay freeze has been in place.

Across the wider public sector, staff face either pay freezes or minimal pay rises with a 1% pay cap for many from 2012 to 2015.

The latest local government pay freeze was announced by the employers only one day after Unison published a hard-hitting report on the pay of local government workers - 'Living on the Edge'.

The report reveals that the value of local government earnings has fallen by 13% in the last three years alone and that in 2011, 38% of part-time and 8% of full-time workers earned less than the 7.20 an hour target of the Living Wage Campaign.

Living on the Edge sums up the huge levels of poverty faced by many council workers who face the unbearable strain of a pay freeze, alongside high inflation in food, fuel and transport costs. On top of this, many councils have frozen pay locally. Where I work, Nottingham city council, staff are in their second year of a local increment freeze.

While public sector workers are, like everyone else, desperately worried about their jobs, pay is becoming a massive issue. Sooner or later, there will be a massive explosion of anger about these pay freezes.

It is not sufficient for trade union leaders in local government, to lodge pay claims with no campaign to try and win them. The campaign against pay cuts, (because this is what pay freezes are), has to be linked to the struggle to defend pensions, jobs and services.

Jean Thorpe, Nottingham Socialist Party and Unison executive, personal capacity

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In The Socialist 29 February 2012:


Fighting workfare

We won't work for free!

Working class needs real political opposition to Con-Dem millionaires

A4e: workfare vultures in crisis

'We want jobs - not slave labour!'

Interview with a jobcentre worker


Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop the Health Bill

Solidarity with Occupy London protesters

Unison leadership found guilty of "unjustifiable discipline" against four Socialist Party activists

Sun launch can't hide corrupt practices

It's bonuses for bankers

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Why I'm standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the London Assembly election

Student walkout - build mass action

Kirklees Sure Start children centres

Voluntary sector cuts expose Big Society lies

Stop North East NHS childcare cuts

Sheffield housing - failed by privatisation

Campaign news in brief

The battle against internet censorship

May Day Greetings in the Socialist


International socialist news and analysis

Iran: Tensions with the US and its allies are ratcheted-up

Europe - Young people fight ACTA


Socialist Party workplace news

'Priceless victory' of sparks against the Dirty Seven

Continuing the pensions battle: PCS consultative ballot

Continuing the pensions battle - Universities

Three-year pay freeze hits hard

Workplace news in brief


 

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