Continuing pay freezes and caps that have meant the average public sector worker is now £2,245 worse off in real terms since this government took office. In local government, where almost two thirds of the workforce are paid below £21k a year and around half a million workers are paid less than the Living Wage, workers will have experienced a real terms pay cut of 18% by the end of 2014.
The sustained attack on public sector pay and pensions has played havoc with our living standards and seems to have no end in sight. Ministers have revealed that pay restraint looks set to continue into 2018.
As you may have seen from the flyers that have been circulated or read in this week’s press, the TUC is calling a national demonstration on 18th October in Central London, and we want to send a message loud and clear to employers and politicians across the board that Britain needs a pay rise. That’s what a real recovery looks like.
We want you to be there but we don’t just want you to come, we want you to bring your friends, your families, your neighbours and your workmates, so that we make this a big and brilliant demonstration.
Please click read more for more details and keep an eye on the website over the next few weeks for further information.
1. Poverty Pay
One in five people earn less than the living wage. For the first time more people in work are below the poverty line than those out of work. The spread of zero-hours contracts, agency working and bogus self-employment is trapping many below the poverty line.
2. The Cost of Living Crisis
We are told that the economy is now recovering and that Britain’s costs of living crisis is over. But whose recovery is this? Ordinary people are £40 a week worse off in real-terms than they were five years ago. And if bankers hadn’t crashed the economy and wages growth had stayed on track then workers on average would have £100 more in their pay packets every week.
3. Rising Inequality
Of course it’s not tough for everybody. In 1998 top chief executives earned 45 times the average wage – enough for anyone. But now they earn 185 times as much. That means they have earned what most people earn over 12 months in just a day and a half. One key driver of the economic crash was growing pay inequality. Long before our banks went bust people’s wages had stopped growing.
This is why Britain needs a pay rise – and it’s why we want you all to join us on the demonstration on October 18th, so we can build a real recovery to last in which everybody shares.
The West Berkshire Council’s Unison branch will provide expenses in accordance with Branch Rules. If you want to show the government the strength of your feeling then please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to advise that you will be going and for any enquiries regarding expenses, meeting point etc.
More information about the day is available at http://britainneedsapayrise.org/ .