Opinion Former Article

Unite research reveals how public servants have lost thousands, while FTSE directors' pay goes into orbit

Research conducted by Unite reveals that nurses have received a £2,000 real terms pay cut over the last two years and social workers have lost more than £3,000, as a report reveals how FTSE 100 directors' pay has risen by 49 per cent in just one year.

As Unite ballots its members for action over pensions on 30 November, research conducted by Unite has found that over the last two years many public sector workers have experienced real terms pay cuts meaning a significant loss in their purchasing power.

Two successive years of a combination of below inflation pay increases, pay freezes and high inflation has meant public sector workers have lost thousands of pounds.
Despite rising unemployment and falling standards of living for most of the population, average earnings for FTSE 100 directors have risen to just under £2.7 million, according to Incomes Data Services (IDS). The IDS report research showed directors at the country's top firms have seen their pay rise by 49 per cent in the past year.

In the course of two years (2010 and 2011) a nurse at the top of the NHS pay band 5 has lost £2,194. A health visitor at the top of NHS pay band 7 has lost £3,192. In local government a teaching assistant has lost £1,815 ,a librarian has lost £2,418, while a social worker has lost £3,238.

Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said:

"Welcome to Britain under the Tory-led government. Public servants who heal our sick, look after our communities and educate our children are having their pay slashed while FTSE 100 directors' pay goes into orbit. The contrast is stark and it is sickening. It tells us everything about the sort of society that the coalition government wants to create. They want public servants to work for longer and for less while giving their friends in the City free reign.

"The government is now coming after the modest pensions of public servants and we are urging our members to stand up and vote yes to action on 30 November."
Unite began issuing ballot papers last Wednesday (26 October) to approximately 160,000 public sector workers in the biggest ever mobilisation of its members, as it battles to defend public sector pensions. The Unite ballot will close on Wednesday, 16 November.

A 'yes' vote will see Unite members take a day of industrial action on 30 November as part of the national day of action against pension cuts.

For more information Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

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