Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Say no to pay cuts

It seems as if some of our national officials with a tenuous grasp upon concepts like debate and democracy (not to mention UNISON’s Rules!) really do want to try to stop UNISON activists campaigning for our members to reject a poor pay offer in the health service.

As a local government member I can only view this as tantamount to sabotage of our hopes for a unified fight for decent pay increases in the public sector – as an NEC member I view this as an alarming attack upon UNISON democracy (in aid of which the “Democracy in UNISON” guidelines are invariably quoted!)

I am glad that activists are continuing to campaign in spite of red-baiting rubbish and poorly argued nonsense from those who clearly wish they could be recommending a pay rise below the level of the Retail Price Index (RPI) now at 4.8% and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) now at 3.1%, which would represent a pay cut in real terms and would have a significant impact on the standard of living for staff who include some of the lowest paid in the NHS. Coupled with the significant increases in energy costs, council tax and travel costs, health workers would see no benefit from such a low pay increase.

If you recognise those words it is because they are drawn from the agreed policy of our Health Service Group Conference. Although inflation has fallen the pay offers to our members in both health and local government still fall short of keeping our standard of living from declining. Let’s hope our members reject these pay cuts!

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