At a meeting of Full Council last week (Wednesday 20th September), Tower Hamlets Labour councillors proposed a motion calling for a fair pay deal for public sector workers delivering vital frontline services.
The motion, agreed by Council, calls for lower paid public sector employees to be paid fairly after years of the lower end of the salary scale being squeezed. During the pay freeze and pay cap, the lowest pay rates have fallen below legal requirements and they have had to be increased by more than 1% to keep them above statutory National Minimum Wage and Living Wage rates, unfairly squeezing the lower end of the scale.
Since 2010, public sector workers have faced pay freezes and a pay cap of 1%. This has led to basic pay falling by 21% in real terms and a major impact on living standards.
The motion, supported by local trades unions UNISON, GMB and Unite, calls on the Government to provide additional funding for a decent pay rise for public sector employees.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: “Public sector workers continue to face plummeting living standards as their wages have fallen far behind inflation. These workers provide crucial services in schools, hospitals and other public services. Employers struggle to retain and recruit staff under current conditions.
“Public sector workers deserve a fair pay rise and the Government must fund this with new money, not load the cost onto councils who have already had their funding slashed.”