Public workers upset over pay raises

| March 1, 2007 | 0 Comments

Public workers upset over pay raises

Unions representing public sector workers are not happy with the announcement from Chancellor Gordon Brown to MPs that public sector pay raises will be held below inflation. Workers will receive the pay raises in two stages beginning 1 April. The exception is armed services members, who will receive the complete raise at once. Mr. Brown said that the raises are at 1.9 percent overall, under the government’s 2 percent inflation target. He said that keeping them below the target demonstrates the government’s determination to “maintain discipline and stability” in looking for an 11th straight year of economic growth.

Those affected by the raises include nurses and other medical staff, as well as senior civil servants and judges, as well as the military. A national officer of the Transport and General Workers Union called the raise “a slap in the face” considering that the Retail Price Index is above 4 percent and that the actual cost of living is higher than that. He also pointed out that despite the limitation on raises, workers are expected to do more work.

A poll commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing showed that almost two-thirds of nurses are willing to stage a job action if they are not happy with this year’s pay deal. The General Secretary of the RNC said that while such an action would not be taken lightly by nurses, but that the 1.5 percent pay raise offered nurses amounted, in real terms, to a pay cut for the average nurse, something the RCN is not ready to accept.

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