Union says low-paid council workers are struggling after three-year pay freeze


UNISON has described today’s Taxpayers’ Alliance survey of council pay as a ‘simplistic look at a complex issue’.

The TPA study reveals 3,097 council employees were awarded deals worth six figure sums in 2010-11, a hike of 13% on the previous year. It also found 658 staff earned between £150,000 and £249,999, while 52 broke the £250,000 mark.

But UNISON said it was deeply unfair for the majority, low paid council workers to see their pay frozen whilst bosses and senior managers see their pay and awards rise.

However, many council chief execs and senior officials are effectively running multi million pound businesses. if taxpayers are to get the best value for their money, they need well qualified and experienced people doing these jobs. This means that councils have to pay a rate that can compare with the private sector.

Heather Wakefield, UNISON head of local government, said: “In its bid to undermine public trust in public spending and public services, the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance has taken far too simplistic a look at a complex issue.

“It is deeply unfair for low paid council workers to be hit with a three year pay freeze whilst bosses and senior managers see their pay rise by up to 50%. Two thirds of local government workers earn less than £21,000 and are struggling as three years of frozen pay hits hard. This unjust pay policy has to end – local government workers and their families cannot take any more.

“But attacking top pay will not help taxpayers, including council workers. For councils to attract the best calibre of leaders, they need to pay the going rate.”

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