Hundreds of thousands of low paid local government workers including home carers, residential care workers, school dinner ladies, cleaners and teaching assistants have been fooled out of a pay rise again this year, said UNISON today.
When staff look at their pay slips on April 1, the £250 increase promised by George Osborne to public sector workers earning under £21,000 will be missing for another year.
UNISON Head of Local Government Heather Wakefield said: “Living on poverty wages is no joke. It is a disgrace that George Osborne has tried to fool local government workers and the public into believing he cared enough about the hardship of low pay to announce he would cushion the impact of the government pay freeze.
“Hundreds of thousands of low paid, mainly women workers – who every day care for people in our local communities – the carers, cleaners, cooks, teaching assistants and many more have been fooled out of the £250 promised by George Osborne.
“Try feeding your family or paying your bills when you have not had a pay rise for three years. £250 isn’t much to the likes of George Osborne but every little helps when you are on minimum wages.
“Instead of dragging local government workers into dispute, councils should do the right thing and pay the £250 now.”
April 1 marks the third consecutive annual pay freeze. It means that council workers will have suffered a 15% pay cut in three years and now earn a shocking 10% less in real terms than in 1996.