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TUC calls for decent pay rise for public sector workers

The Railway Hub

The Government is being urged to reconsider plans for pay restraint in the public sector after research suggested it would hit the economy.

The TUC said cutting pay rises for key workers in the public sector in England would disproportionately affect northern regions.

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The economic hit for England in the year to March 2022 would be £1.7 billion as workers lose spending power, said the union organisation.

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Of the worst-hit parliamentary seats, seven would be in the North West, seven in Yorkshire and the Humber, five in the West Midlands and three in the North East, said the TUC.

Action should be taken to ensure every key worker gets a pay rise, including raising the national minimum wage to at least £10 per hour, said the TUC.

General secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Key workers have kept the country going through the pandemic. The Prime Minister clapped them, but his applause will ring hollow if he cuts their pay.

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“Boosting key worker pay helps everyone. It puts more money in the pockets of working families, and their spending supports jobs in local businesses and high streets.

“This will help to level up our unequal economy, and it gives key workers the respect they have earned.”

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Taking money from the pockets of employees at the heart of the pandemic response is nothing short of deplorable. It would also deliver the worst possible blow to the Covid-scarred economy.

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“The Prime Minister claims he wants to boost the public-sector workforce. Yet hitting wages is going to see more staff leaving, not joining, especially in care where pay is at poverty levels.”

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: “It is frankly appalling that the army of essential workers who have kept Britain functioning through this pandemic, putting their own health and lives on the line, are being rewarded with a financial kicking by the Government which will hammer standards of living.”

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Sam Hewitt

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