Pay freeze for public sector workers

The head of the Audit Commission, Steve Bundred, has called for a pay freeze to be imposed on Britain’s 6 million public sector workers. He says that ” severe pay restraint” is necessary to rebalance public finances. He says that “nothing should be off-limits” and “at a time when inflation is likely to be between 2% and 3%, a pain-free way of cutting public spending would be to freeze public sector pay, or at least impose severe pay restraint. This is especially true if real wages in the private sector are still falling”.

Unfortunately, the public sector unions, such as Unite and Unison, have become mega-unions that inspire little confidence from their members. Similarly, the leadership at a local level will be unable to galvanise a credible campaign to defend its members against cuts such as these which will be inevitable after the next general election. (This is particularly true in areas such as Brighton and Hove where Labour and Green councillors say the Unison leadership in the town hall is embarrassingly incompetent).

2 Responses

  1. So in what sense is the local UNISON leadership “incompetent” then?

    Year-on-year membership growth, successful defence of members’ jobs and representation with dozens of voluntary and public sector employers seem to be strange measures of incompetence…,

    But I agree with you that we have a major fight on our hands to oppose the cuts which are threatened.

    On pay, public sector unions will get nowhere until they start to work together and take action together.

    • Thanks for the comment, Andy. Firstly, welcome to the world of blogging. I read your first two postings with interest. Well written, informative. A welcome addition to the bloggersphere.

      In quoting councillors and their views of UNISON leadership, I seem to have upset a few people. The reality is that, generally, councillors speak well of you (other than one New Labour Blairite – whatever did you do!?). Also, Stuart Neate is respected. Others not so. You and Stuart are seen as reasonable and measured, and therefore effective. Others not so. You and Stuart are seen as pragmatic seeking solutions that benefit your members. Others not so.

      I have a friend who works in a local voluntary sector organisation, a committed trade unionist, who has just resigned from UNISON because of his unhappiness with UNISON leadership locally. It appears you may have a problem. If we are to defend jobs, conditions and services, we need better leadership. You need to lead on this, Andy.

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