Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/537/6143

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 June 2008

Organise to fight the public-sector pay robbery

Since New Labour came to power in 1997 the wealth of the richest 1,000 people in Britain has quadrupled to 412 billion. Last month it was reported that bankers and financiers had taken a record 12.6 billion in bonuses alone so far this year. At the same time MPs are moving mountains to stop us finding out what they are claiming on expenses.

Unison members

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Unison members are struggling to make ends meet. With petrol, utility bills, council tax and even basic foodstuffs all rising faster than the official rate of inflation, public-sector workers are getting angry.

Over 800,000 Unison members have now rejected their pay offers. Those working in probation, further education and the meat hygiene services are the latest. They are either balloting for action or planning to.

As this week's Unison conference closes, so will the balloting of Unison members in local government in our latest pay dispute.

Not content with last year's insultingly low pay award of 2.475%, the employers have decided to offer us even less this year. With inflation running at over 4%, the employers have decided that our members are worth a pathetic 2.45% with strings attached. This isn't a pay award, this is a pay cut!

A 'yes' vote followed by strike action would send a message to employers and the government that local government workers have had enough and are fighting back.

Unfortunately Unison's health membership have voted to accept a three-year pay deal, which averages just 2.6%. But this does not mean that members are happy with a below-inflation pay award which is in effect a pay cut.

It was clear to members from the start that the leadership were in favour of the deal and did not want to lead a determined fight against the Labour government.

A consultation ballot would not even have taken place had delegates at the recent Unison health conference not opposed the unelected fulltime national officers who hoped they could get the deal rubber-stamped by Unison's health service group executive (SGE) and health conference.

The SGE split down the middle, voting 19 to 19 and conference decided to put the deal to the membership without a recommendation but with the proviso that branches could make their own recommendations.

Despite this decision, leaflets went out to every health member from Unison national office explaining how difficult it would be to get an improved deal. No wonder members were not confident of the union leadership leading a determined struggle.

How can our union fight for its members when it insists on a cosy relationship with a party which is intent on attacking our pay and conditions?

The public-sector pay robbery is not just an issue for Unison members. From the civil service to police, teachers and nurses, public-sector workers are being robbed blind while the rich continue to get richer at our expense.

If we are serious about this struggle then we need to take serious action. This means cross-union action like the action by teachers, lecturers and civil servants on 24 April and a move towards a one-day, all-out public sector general strike.

It's time we made this government and the employers listen. Fight the pay cuts and demand a decent wage for all public-sector workers!

  • Adapted from the special issue of The Socialist produced for Unison conference
  • Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


    In The Socialist 11 June 2008:


    Socialist Party NHS campaign

    Stop the NHS sell-off

    Banking on NHS profits

    My pain - and privatisation


    Anti-racism

    Racist BNP have no solutions!


    Socialist Party editorial

    Will Obama win?

    Obama declares victory, and shifts to the right


    Socialist Party campaigns

    "Anti-terror" laws are no solution


    Defend Tommy Sheridan

    Stirring rally backs Tommy Sheridan

    Unison witch-hunt hits Northern Ireland


    Campaign for a New Workers Party

    Come to the Campaign for a New Workers' Party Conference

    New Labour's parallel universe

    Waltham Forest protest

    Them & Us


    Socialist Party youth and students

    Underfunding youth facilities: It makes no sense!


    Socialist Party feature

    Oil price shock - the chaos of capitalism

    Sudan's poor paying the price for oil

    Fast news


    Socialist Party review

    Immortal Technique at the Coronet, London 4 June 2008


    Socialist Party workplace news

    Usdaw needs a fighting leadership

    Organise to fight the public-sector pay robbery

    National Shop Stewards Network second conference

    Fujitsu workers strike to save jobs

    The costs of privatisation

    Brighton bus drivers strike


     

    Home   |   The Socialist 11 June 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

    Subscribe   |   Donate  




    Related links:

    Public-sector:

    trianglePCS: the real issues at stake

    trianglePreparing for the showdown

    triangle30 June pension strike reports

    Pay:

    triangleManchester Deliveroo strike, 14.2.19, photo Tom Costello

    triangleWorkplace and union news in brief

    triangleFight for a socialist-led PCS - fight to win the national pay campaign

    triangleCollege lecturers strike for a pay rise

    Unison:

    triangleUnison: Democracy and the right to speak out are under threat

    triangleUnison union campaigns for school support staff action

    triangleBirmingham: hostile Labour council attacks striking workers

    Health:

    triangleHistoric strike of nurses in Ireland

    triangleCash-starved health service ripped off by big pharma - fund our NHS now!

    Teachers:

    triangleUnited States: LA teachers' strike defeats privatisers

    Civil Service:

    triangleRe-elect Chris Baugh for AGS

    Reports and campaigns

    Reports and campaigns

    15/2/19

    Climate change

    Youth strike for the climate: "There's no planet B"

    13/2/19

    Turkey

    'Spot' conference opposes authoritarianism in Turkey

    13/2/19

    Liverpool

    Liverpool: 200 march to commemorate Robert Tressell

    13/2/19

    Nottingham

    300 turn out for Corbyn in Nottingham marginal

    13/2/19

    Socialist Party

    Why I joined: "why is their life so different from mine?"

    13/2/19

    Tamil Solidarity

    Arrest Brigadier Fernando - defend the right to protest

    13/2/19

    Newham

    Newham: women's refuge funds halved - Labour must use the 500m reserves

    13/2/19

    Southampton

    Southampton: Labour plans 15m cuts - vote Socialist in Coxford by-election

    13/2/19

    Union

    Workplace and union news in brief

    13/2/19

    Enfield

    Enfield: striking against academisation - fighting for a no-cuts budget

    13/2/19

    Leicester

    Leicester college workers refuse to accept cut in terms and conditions

    13/2/19

    Glasgow

    Glasgow: nationalise the threatened 'Caley' railway depot

    13/2/19

    PCS

    Fight for a socialist-led PCS - fight to win the national pay campaign

    13/2/19

    RMT

    Heroic RMT guards beat back Northern rail in fight against dangerous driver-only operation

    13/2/19

    Birmingham

    Victory to Birmingham bin workers

    triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


    Join the Socialist Party
    Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
    Donate to the Socialist Party
    Socialist Party Facebook page
    Socialist Party on Twitter
    Visit us on Youtube

    LATEST POSTS

    CONTACT US

    Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

    Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

    Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

    Regional Socialist Party organisers:

    Eastern: 0798 202 1969

    East Mids: 0773 797 8057

    London: 020 8988 8786

    North East: 0784 114 4890

    North West 07769 611 320

    South East: 020 8988 8777

    South West: 07759 796 478

    Southern: 07833 681910

    Wales: 07935 391 947

    West Mids: 02476 555 620

    Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

    ABOUT US

    ARCHIVE

    Alphabetical listing


    February 2019

    January 2019

    2018

    2017

    2016

    2015

    2014

    2013

    2012

    2011

    2010

    2009

    2008

    2007

    2006

    2005

    2004

    2003

    2002

    2001

    2000

    1999