Overlooked and undervalued

Join our ‘May the 4th’ campaign in calling on the government to fully fund a proper pay rise for council workers

Reading time: 4 min

With you from cradle to grave, council workers are the unsung heroes of the Covid-19 crisis.

They are key workers who have kept our communities running during the pandemic, emptying our bins, cleaning our streets, caring for our elderly, our young and vulnerable.

Council workers are here for us, providing the services that we couldn’t live without, from libraries, schools, parks, street cleaning, housing, homecare and end of life.

They are not low skilled. They are undervalued.

Since 2010, across the UK, the real wages for council workers have fallen by 22%. While the government’s squeeze on council budgets is putting the services they deliver and we rely on at risk.

If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that the people we need the most, are often the ones we value the least. This must change.

They deserve to be paid fairly. They deserve a decent pay rise.

Join us in calling on the government to fully fund a proper pay rise for council workers.

Commenting on the campaign, Unite national officer for local government Jim Kennedy said, “All those seeking election on Thursday (May 6) should publicly state beforehand that they recognise the essential work carried out by local authority workers and make a commitment to campaign, if elected, to ensure that they receive a substantial pay rise.

“For too long, council workers have borne the brunt of the Tories’ funding onslaught on local government since 2010 – they have been treated with contempt by successive Tory prime ministers – Cameron, May and Johnson,” he added.

“Yet it has been our council workers that have sustained our communities across the land over the last year, and sadly, many have died in the line of duty during the pandemic

“These unsung heroes of public service have kept our streets clean, cared for our elderly and vulnerable, and looked after our young in the most difficult, and sometimes tragic, circumstances,” Kennedy continued.

“While the public fully recognise and appreciate the dedication given to our communities by hundreds of thousands of local authority workers, this generosity of spirit is not reciprocated by the cold-hearted and tight-fisted Local Government Association whose agenda is stuck in a mind-set of continuing to pay poverty wages.

“Now is the time for those that aspire to public office – whether as mayors, police and crime commissioners, or as county and district councillors – to pledge that a much-deserved pay rise for council staff moves centre stage politically.”

By UniteLive team

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