Commenting on the revelations that the government is considering a public sector pay freeze, Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said:

 

“This is a huge own goal by the government.  Public sector workers are on the frontline saving lives, keeping people safe and maintaining the economy.

 

“To suggest that their hard work, endeavour and sacrifice should be rewarded with a freeze in their pay is simply insulting.

 

“A public sector pay freeze is totally at odds with what the general public wants, Unite’s own survey of the general public last week found that 71 per cent wanted increased taxes of the wealthy rather than a return to austerity. With other key priorities being increased funding for the NHS and more pay for key workers.

 

“There simply cannot be a return to austerity mark two.  Working people must never again pay for a crisis not of their own making.

 

"I challenge the PM to step up and step away from this suggestion without delay.  He, among countless others, has seen first-hand the value of public sector workers literally saving lives.

 

“We remain in the midst of the pandemic and the government must rule out this dangerously demoralising proposal immediately so that nurses, paramedics, refuse collectors and the millions of other public sector workers are reassured that they will be fairly treated when this crisis ends.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors:

 

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

 

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

 

Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

 

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org

 

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.