Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1032/28796
From The Socialist newspaper, 6 March 2019
Poverty pay for 1.2 million public sector workers. 2.7% pay rise for MPs
Trade union action to end low pay now!
Council workers striking for better pay, photo by Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
More than one million public sector workers are paid less than the minimum amount needed to make ends meet, as set by the Living Wage Foundation. They calculate this as £9 an hour, or £10.55 in London.
Outsourcing to private companies is partly to blame. But many of the 1.2 million are employed directly by the state. Both sets of workers account for 20% of the six million who are paid less than the Living Wage in Britain.
Employers and the government get away with it because the legal minimum 'national living wage' is £7.83 an hour across the country. It is set to rise to £8.21 from April.
The Socialist Party argues that not only is the legal minimum not enough - neither is the so-called Living Wage. We call for a minimum wage of £10 an hour as a step towards a real living wage. Council workers in London are starting to demand more to avoid £10.55 becoming the new maximum.
If the state can afford to give already generously paid MPs a 2.7% pay rise to £79,468 a year then it can afford to pay public sector workers a wage that means there's not too much month left at the end of their money.
Public sector trade unions should strike and fight to end low pay for all state-employed and outsourced workers and an end to privatisation which drives down pay and terms and conditions.
They should then link up with private sector trade unions - whose members in the BFAWU bakers' union, Unite the Union and others walked-out for better pay in McDonald's, TGI Friday's and JD Wetherspoon last year - to win a minimum wage of £10 an hour for all, with no youth exemptions.
We want a real pay rise - and we want it now!
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 6 March 2019:
What we think
No retreats: Corbyn must stand firm against Blairites
Stop post-16 education cuts
Interview with a shop worker
MPs boost their own pay
Workplace news in brief
Boot out failing Grayling and the other Tory wreckers
Solidarity with Chris Williamson
Trade union action to end low pay now!
A&E 4-hour waiting targets scrapped - Save our NHS!
Them & Us
International Women's Day 2019
A socialist programme to end women's oppression
International Women's Day 2019: End oppression with fight for socialism
Leon Trotsky's struggle against Stalinism
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Southampton: Fight council cuts
Cuts must stop - boot the Tories out
Wildfires hit Europe - build for 15 March student climate strikes
Swansea: Labour council tries to dodge no-cuts protest
Hull: support for anti-cuts policies at Corbyn solidarity rally
Hundreds of Tamils protest against death-threat brigadier
Women workers' militancy during the 'great unrest'
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 6 March 2019 |
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