Public service trade unions have reacted angrily to a series of pay offers that they argue fail to compensate workers for inflation or for the massive efforts made to maintain services during the pandemic. The 3% pay offer for health workers has been widely condemned and unions are consulting with members about what action to take. The unions point out that the pay rise is too low to have any impact on the serious staff shortages that persist across the health sector. Meanwhile local government employers have made a small increase to their pay offer, but this still means only a 1.75% increase for most workers (2.75% for the lowest paid) in contrast to the 10% pay claim submitted by unions. Unions representing police staff are also angry that their members are facing a pay freeze.
Union anger over inadequate pay offers
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Negotiations between public service unions and the federal government have yet to produce an agreement and further bargaining will take place next February. The unions are looking for an increase of 1.5% but the government offer is only 0.8%, below the forecast inflation rate of 1%. The unions argue that federal finances are sound with surpluses predicted for both 2018 and 2019 while the economy is also set to grow by 2%. On this basis they argue that federal government workers deserve a pay rise at least in line with inflation.
Health unions have attacked the government for offering a 1% pay increase to health workers – a figure that unions say will fail to keep pace with inflation and does nothing to compensate workers for the real term loss in pay over the past 10 years. The RCN nursing union is calling for a 12.5% increase for nursing staff which it underlines is crucial to deliver fair pay, recruitment, retention, and safe staffing. The GMB general workers’ union reveals the impact of pay freezes and below-inflation pay rises since 2010 that have effectively cut staff pay by anything from GBP 3000 (EUR 3500) to
Verdi has reacted angrily to the latest proposals from the BDE private waste employers’ organisation. The union had called for a 3% pay increase backdated to May 2010 but the employers’ have offered nothing for an eight-month period and just 1% from January 2011. Verdi is also concerned about the employers’ aims to introduce a lower level pay structure which would mean some workers stuck on pay rates equivalent to those from the mid-1990s. Read more at > verdi (DE)