Council backs union pay call for local authority workers

South Shields Town Hall
South Shields Town Hall

Council bosses in South Tyneside have given their backing to town hall unions who are calling for a halt to pay restraints for public sector workers.

Coun Fay Cunningham and Coun Alan Kerr asked colleagues to support the National Joint Council pay claim for 2018.

It is time these workers to receive fair pay.

Coun Fay Cunningham

A Government imposed cap limits public sector pay rises to one per cent.

Civil service unions say their claim aims to narrow the growing gap between declining wages and the rising cost of living and scrap the limit.

Recent figures claim an eighth of staff have skipped meals and a sixth leave their heating off due to lack of cash.

Coun Cunningham said: “We have one in six council working leaving their heating off when cold just to make ends meet. This is not acceptable. It is not acceptable to us as a socialist council.

“It is time these workers to receive fair pay.”

A motion was passed by the council backing the call - by unions UNISON, GMB and Unite - on behalf of council and school workers for the immediate end of public sector pay restraint.

Council leader, Coun Iain Malcolm said: “My task as leader of the council is to try and do 30% more with 30% less.

“Since 2010 we have lost half of our working budget and have lost nearly 1,000 members of staff and there is still further cuts to come to a tune of £70 million over the next three years.

“It simply can’t go on.

“It is really biting into the household budgets of our hard working staff.

“The public sector deserve a pay rise. If it’s good enough for the politicians, it’s good enough for our hard working council workers across the board.”