Fourteen health service unions have submitted their evidence for negotiations for this year’s pay claim for 1.3 million NHS workers calling for early implementation. To back this up UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Midwives have written to the prime minister also urging him to support a pay rise as soon as possible. Although the current agreement expires at the end of March, it would be unlikely that negotiations would be finished by then and in normal circumstances workers might not receive the pay increase until the summer. Unions argue that an early increase would
Around 9000 employees of British Gas were due to begin a five-day strike from 7 January in protest at the company’s decision to fire all workers and rehire them on worse pay and conditions. British Gas’s parent company Centrica claimed the measures are necessary in response to the impact of the pandemic. However, the GMB trade union, representing engineers and call-centre staff argue that the initiative is excessive particularly in view of the company’s latest reported operating profits. 89% of the union’s members in the company voted for the strike action.
Support staff working in universities have rejected a proposed pay freeze while those working in colleges of further education have also rejected a 1% pay offer. University support staff point to the work they have been doing over the last nine months to maintain services and ensure safety and a dispute and industrial action are in prospect. Meanwhile further education staff say that their pay has fallen by 30% in real terms since 2009 and that there is a need to address a major pay disparity with the school sector.
Public service trade unions have reacted angrily over the government decision to freeze pay for millions of public sector workers, including municipal employees, care workers, civil servants and teachers. Health workers are excluded from the “pay pause” as the chancellor (finance minister) calls it and there will be a GBP 250 (EUR 278) increase for workers paid less than GBP 24000 (EUR 26730) a year. The unions have attacked the decision as a “divide and rule” tactic and argue that many public service workers have yet to see their pay levels recover in real terms after the last bout of
Fourteen trade unions representing staff across the National Health Service have sent a joint letter to the prime minister calling on the government to give all health workers a pay increase before Christmas. The next pay increase was not due until April 2021, but the unions argue that an early increase would help employees “feel valued, by the entire country, and the government too”. They also state in the letter that raising pay this year could persuade staff looking to leave the NHS to change their minds. An early wage boost could also “prove attractive to thousands of much-needed potential
Three trade unions (CGT, FP-CGIL and PCS) representing workers in cultural services in France, Italy and the UK have come together to highlight the urgent need for action to support the sector and tackle poor pay and employment conditions. They argue that the sector has been particularly hard hit by measures to tackle the pandemic and these have been intensified because of the extent of outsourcing and precarious employment. The unions are calling for a strengthening of public culture services, decent and secure employment conditions and action to stop privatisation and outsourcing. CGT (EN
Public services union UNISON is part of a new group of 80+ organisations and individuals – the Future Social Care Coalition – that is calling for an emergency fund to support social care and boost carers’ pay. The coalition has estimated that GBP 3.9 billion (Euro 4.3 billion) is needed to stabilise the sector and finance a fair deal on wages. Meanwhile, the GMB trade union is celebrating a victory with the announcement by the Welsh government that it would fund full sick pay for workers who are off sick with COVID-19 or have to self-isolate. Until now many low-paid social care workers would
UNISON, GMB and Unite, the trade unions representing non-teaching staff, have joined with teaching unions in setting out their pay claim for colleges of further education. The unions are calling for a significant move towards the full restoration of pay levels to where they would be had college pay kept pace with inflation since 2009. They also want to see the living wage, as calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, to be the minimum wage in the sector, with all colleges in England becoming accredited living wage employers with the Foundation. The unions also want all contracted-out services
Public service union UNISON has won a major legal victory for 10 home care workers who are set to share £100000 (EUR 109000) in compensation for underpayment of wages. The case involves the failure of private contractors to pay to cover travelling time between jobs. It could have major implications for other home care workers and UNISON is calling on the government to act to outlaw the practice. Effectively, some of the workers were being paid less than half the minimum wage by being denied payment for travel time - an essential part of their work as home care staff - with some working as long
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread use of short-time working in response has rekindled the debate about permanent shifts to shorter working hours. Germany's biggest engineering union, IG Metall, has put forward ideas about a move to a 32-hour week and this had been taken up by the CGT trade union confederation in France which has had a 32-hour-week policy for some time. In the UK, the Autonomy research organisation has proposed and costed a plan for the public sector to take the lead and move to a 32-hour week without loss of pay.
Public services union UNISON has called for a £2000 a year pay rise for all health workers in recognition of their continuing work and commitment in the fight against COVID-19. The union underlines the importance of giving health workers a boost before the end of the year particularly as the virus is in resurgence. The RCN nursing union has called for a 12.5% increase for nursing staff in an important step to help address the staffing crisis, in recognition of their skills and to compensate for cost of living increases. The GMB general union, meanwhile, is calling for a 15% pay increase again
Energy unions are facing challenges on several fronts. Leading gas company Centrica has faced major criticism from unions - GMB, UNISON, Unite and Prospect - when it followed up an announcement of 5000 job cuts with a plan to sack and re-hire 20000 staff on worse terms and conditions. The GMB union has already had a consultative ballot which showed 95% support for strike action and so a formal ballot will be undertaken. Meanwhile the GMB members at Northern Gas Networks have voted 98% in favour of industrial action on pay while Unite members at the Drax energy company have been balloted over
Fourteen trade unions that organise workers right across the National Health Service have sent joint letters to the prime minister and chancellor (finance minister) calling for quick action to agree a pay rise for all health workers. The unions argue that the public want to see health workers properly valued and rewarded and that a decent pay rise would be a step in the right direction. The unions don't want a simple COVID-19 bonus but a pay rise that will help retain and recruit staff and address the falling purchasing power of health workers who have seen pay frozen or capped below inflation