Unite’s #WorthMore campaign for council workers steps up with call on councillors
- Monday 22 June 2020
Councillors from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are being urged to sign up and support a fair and proper pay rise for council workers in an online letter launched by Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union as part of its #WorthMore campaign.
As part of the campaign, a new film featuring Unite council worker members, the second in the Real Heroes series, has been launched today (Monday 22 June): https://youtu.be/y_xnqmSzxp0
Members of the public are urged to support the campaign by emailing their councillors through the Unite online tool.
As one care worker member said: “I’m not low skilled. I’m low valued. We deserve a pay rise.”
Unite’s #WorthMore campaign was launched in response to the National Employers pay offer of just 2.75 per cent and comes just 11 days after Unite announced plans to hold a consultative ballot of its 100,000 members over the offer which works out at just £1.83 a day for the lowest paid.
The one and half minute film is the follow up to the union’s widely shared REAL HEROES film which highlighted the extraordinary public support for the nation’s low paid key council workers – the care workers and refuse collectors to name a few - who have been going above the call of duty during the coronavirus crisis.
Jim Kennedy, Unite national officer said: “It is utterly disgraceful that we have had to launch a campaign to get council workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland a fair and proper pay rise.
“Despite the risks, key council workers have continued to keep our streets clean, our communities safe and our loved cared for during the coronavirus crisis.
“To come to the table with such a low pay offer after everything these workers have gone through is an insult. £1.83 extra a day won’t even buy a refuse collector or care worker a coffee from a high street chain at the end of their shift.
“We are now urging councillors to get behind our call. They must not shy away from standing up for what it right and using their influence to put pressure on central government to come up with new money for a decent pay rise.
“It is hugely disappointing that the National Employers backtracked on their promise to join the unions in calling on central government for a dedicated pot of money to fund a higher pay rise, but this has only strengthened our resolve.
“For 10 weeks the nation clapped for the country’s key workers and our NHS. It was very moving for our members who are often overlooked, but now they need people to contact their councillors to help get them all the pay rise they deserve.”
Hundreds of councillors have already added their name to the union’s call for a fair and decent pay rise for council workers.
Over the last ten years real average wages for council workers have fallen by 22%, due to government imposed pay freezes and below inflation pay rises. The Employers 2.75% pay offer works out at between £1.83-£2.20 extra a day for the lowest paid and falls well below the 10 per cent pay increase asked for by the unions in their joint pay claim.
For more information please contact Unite campaigns coordinator, Chantal Chegrinec on 07774146777.
Note to editors:
Real Heroes 2 – video sequel: https://youtu.be/y_xnqmSzxp0
Unite #WorthMore campaign page: https://unitetheunion.org/campaigns/pay-council-workers-worthmore/