Council Workers Furious As Chancellor Breaks Promise of £250 Rise For 800,000 Low Paid Staff

23 Mar 2011

GMB public services union reacts to the announcement in the budget that the pay rise of £250 promised for lowest paid public sector workers has now been withdrawn from council staff. More than half of the 1.7 million workers originally covered by the promise are now excluded – care workers, school dinner ladies, street cleaners, refuse workers, teaching assistants and social workers.

Brian Strutton GMB National Secretary for public services said “Local authority workers are angry with today’s budget announcement that public sector pay protection for the lowest paid, promised to all public sector workers in the 2010 emergency budget in June, has now been withdrawn from council workers. In the June 2010 budget statement the Chancellor said “1.7 million public servants who earn less than £21,000…..will each get a flat rate pay rise worth £250.” In today’s budget statement he restricted this to “the armed forces, prisons, NHS, teachers and civil servants.”  So more than half of the 1.7 million workers originally covered by the promise are now excluded – care workers, school dinner ladies, street cleaners, refuse workers, teaching assistants, social workers.

Council workers pay rates start just 37p above the national minimum wage and they have had a pay freeze for 2 years. Although it was well known that council bosses did not like last years budget promise for the low paid to get £250 no-one thought that the Chancellor would renege on a clear commitment which parliament voted for. It’s a disgrace and Osborne should publicly apologise for breaking his word.”