Friday, 21 September, 2018

Police and prison officers have public sector pay cap lifted

PA Wire  PA Images PA Wire PA Images
Ellis Copeland | 13 September, 2017, 00:40

The UK is facing a growing threat of coordinated strikes by public sector workers over the issue of the 1% pay cap.

The spokesperson said that while restraint on pay was still required: "the government recognised in some parts of the public sector more flexibility may be required".

Theresa May's Cabinet agreed a one per cent rise for police in 2017/18, plus a "non consolidated" additional one per cent - giving an effective two per cent rise this year.

The POA prison officers' union said it was seeking industrial action over an offer which it said effectively amounted to a pay cut and would leave a majority of staff with rises of just 1.3%.

The 2017/18 awards will be funded from existing departmental budgets.

In response to the government's announcement, the Taxpayers' Alliance, a right-wing think-tank, called on the government to scrap nationalised pay bargaining.

Labour's shadow justice minister Richard Burgon refused five times to say if Jeremy Corbyn's party would condemn an illegal general strike in a auto crash interview this morning.

Four unions tabled motions to this week's Trades Union Congress in Brighton calling for some kind of nationally coordinated action, which were then included in a composite motion.

The government has said it will take the reports of independent pay review bodies under consideration and said there would be scope for "flexibility" over public sector pay rises from 2018-19.

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She told BBC Radio 4's The World at One review bodies and departments were being given greater leeway to use pay to address "pinch points" within public sector staffing.

The newly-announced rises are still below the level of inflation, which measured by the Consumer Prices Index rose to 2.9%, from 2.6%, in August.

The Federation had asked for a 2.8% uplift to basic pay.

Ministers have also been warned that they need to fund the pay rise in full since police forces have budgeted for a 1% rise and without extra money, jobs are at risk. Yesterday, the Prime Minister's spokesman said it would continue as planned.

Frances O'Grady, TUC general secretary, labeled the below inflation pay offer "pathetic".

Leaders of unions representing millions of workers said they will continue campaigning for wage rises.

Mr Corbyn denounced the Government's announcement as an attempt to play "divide and rule" with public sector workers, and promised that Labour would ditch the cap across the board.

He said: "A pay cut is a pay cut". At the weekend we were led to believe the pay cap was a thing of the past.

Unison said it was a "tiny step in the right direction but not almost enough". We must be united in breaking the pay cap for all workers.

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