Unison calls for big rise in pay

PUBLISHED: 10:09 20 February 2008 | UPDATED: 22:12 26 October 2009

A LEADING trade union is demanding a six per cent pay rise for workers who provide top quality public services in Hertfordshire. Unison officials believe the rise - 50p an hour or whichever is the greatest - is needed to keep in line with the current ra

A LEADING trade union is demanding a six per cent pay rise for workers who provide "top quality public services" in Hertfordshire.

Unison officials believe the rise - 50p an hour or whichever is the greatest - is needed to keep in line with the current rate of inflation of two per cent.

County assistant secretary Mark Deacon has written to Herts County Council leader Robert Gordon to voice his concerns.

He said: "We are calling our claim a 'catch up and match up claim'. This is because our members' pay has fallen below inflation since 2004, so we need to 'catch up' with cost of living increases.

"We also need to 'match up' to pay conditions elsewhere in the public and private sectors.

"Workers on the bottom rate earn only £11,577, compared to other public sector groups earning up to £15,523.

"We believe our members deserve to 'match up' to other public service workers."

He said: "Unison wants to work with the council for top quality public services, but that means fair pay and fair treatment of the workforce.

"Councils are already unable to compete for staff with other public and private sector employers - even in low wage areas.

"If we fall further behind, local authorities will not have the staff to deliver."

Mr Deacon added he was concerned the Government was using the Consumer Price Index to measure inflation and determine pay increases for public sector workers.

"The CPI excludes all housing costs and council tax. It is not a real measure of inflation," he said.

Cllr Gordon was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

But a county council spokesman said: "This is a claim from national Unison to the national employers.

"We would hope for a satisfactory outcome for all concerned.

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