Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “The chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered a body blow to the public sector workers he has targeted to bear the brunt of the costs of the pandemic with a pay freeze – his so-called ‘pause’.

“It is doubly disappointing that the chancellor has adopted ‘divide and rule’ tactics over public sector pay with an award for NHS staff, but a freeze on pay for millions of others, such as teaching assistants, who are already low paid. 

“The sop of £250 to the two million public sector workers earning under £24,000-a-year is insulting and compares badly with the inflated sums that the government has wasted on PPE contracts for those with links to the Tory establishment. 

“This mainly female workforce already juggle work commitments, childcare responsibilities and care for elderly relatives yet kept vital services running throughout the pandemic, at times due to government failures in PPE provision, risking their own health in the service of others. 

“It is also a blow to local economies and high streets where public sector workers spend a large proportion of their wages.

“The prime minister’s ‘levelling up’ agenda is in tatters as a result of the chancellor’s divisive pay announcement which does nothing to restore the ‘lost’ pay in real terms from a decade of austerity.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Email: shaun.noble@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.