Cllr Jas Athwal, Labour leader of Redbridge Council, has joined over ninety Labour council leaders from across the UK to write to the Chancellor demanding that he fully funds a fair pay rise for council staff.
The letter calls for an end to the public sector pay cap, and demands that a guarantee from the Chancellor that he will fully fund the 2% pay offer made to council staff by the National Employers for Local Government Services this week. The letter notes that local government workers have suffered real terms pay reductions since 2010 that, combined with increases to the cost of living, mean they’ve lost the equivalent of £1 in every £5 they previously earned.
Commenting on the letter, Cllr Athwal, Labour leader of Redbridge Council, said:
"Thousands of local people depend on the hard work of council staff – from care workers to parks attendants, and from social workers to street sweepers. So I support the decision of the National Employers for Local Government to recognise the difficulties faced by many council workers in recent years, and to offer a 2% deal for each of the next two years.”
“But local government has suffered the biggest cut of any part of the public sector so it is vital that the Chancellor uses next week’s Local Government Finance Settlement to fully fund the cost of this deal, and to start to reverse the appalling cuts planned to local government.”
“I’ve joined Labour leaders from across the country to write to the Chancellor to demand that the pay cap is formally lifted, that he fully funds the offer that has been made, and that he urgently addresses the £5.8bn gap in funding councils face by 2020.”
Andrew Gwynne MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said:
“Labour leaders in Local Government have worked tirelessly to urge the Government to scrap the 1 per cent pay cap and provide funding to give public sector workers the pay rise they deserve.
“Local government workers provide an important and essential service to the public, but for years they have seen their pay held back by this Government in the name of austerity.
“Given the Tories’ harsh cuts to authority budgets, it is vital that additional funding is provided to back up this pledge, to avoid simply placing extra burden on already over-strained budgets.”