Heroes and zeroes
UniteLive highlights the latest ‘heroes and zeroes’ amid coronavirus epidemic
Reading time: 7 min
Each and every week, heroes and ‘zeroes’ have emerged in the coronavirus crisis. Here are this week’s latest
- Rainbow kids
As UniteLIVE higlighted earlier this week, many people from all walks of life have been putting rainbows in their windows to try and spread some joy in these difficult times and to show our love and appreciation for our NHS and key workers.
A Facebook group set up to get children to draw and display rainbows so that other local children can go rainbow spotting when out for some daily exercise now has over 121,000 members and is still growing daily.
Unite has this week hosted a rainbow contest – the winner will be announced later today on Unite’s Instagram. Unite salutes all those children and adults who are putting out rainbows and doing their bit – however small – to cheer up everyone suffering through the crisis.
- Local Government Association (LGA) pay offer
Local government workers, from refuse collectors to street cleaners to carers, crematorium workers, teaching assistants and others have played an absolutely vital role in the coronavirus crisis. They deserve our utmost gratitude — and the most tangible way we can honour their work is with a decent pay rise.
That’s why Unite has slammed the LGA for announcing a paltry pay rise of 2.75% for 2020/21 — far short of the 10% claim for this year. The LGA has already asked the government to fund an additional pay increase – Unite and other unions are now calling for employers to send a joint letter to the government urging them to reward staff properly.
Unite national officer for local government Jim Kennedy said, “This is a totally unrealistic offer, especially given the current crisis where it is our frontline local authority workers who are protecting our communities and vital services, caring for our young and our vulnerable elderly, collecting our rubbish, cleaning our streets, and working in our crematoria to ensure dignity for those who have, sadly, fallen victim to this terrible virus.
“We know the public are appreciative and supportive of our frontline council workforce. Unfortunately, the local government employers are not mirroring public opinion with this low offer, seemingly oblivious to their many years of cynically undervaluing some of the public sector’s lowest paid workers.”