NSEAD is part of the TUC and fully supports the call for a meeting, to begin negotiating pay conditions.
4 January 2023
Dear Prime Minister
Public Sector pay disputes – meeting with TUC
I’m writing to you today to ask for an urgent meeting.
Public sector workers don’t want to be out on strike this winter. They care passionately about their vocations and the communities they serve. But they have been left with no choice.
Ambulance staff, physiotherapists, teachers and millions of others have seen their living standards decimated by over a decade of pay cuts and wage freezes. And with inflation north of 10 per cent, they simply cannot afford another real-terms pay cut.
Our public services are in crisis after years of underfunding and understaffing. We can’t solve these problems without a fair deal for the people on the frontline. Every month experienced employees are quitting, with one in three public service staff now taking active steps to leave their professions, or actively considering it. This is simply unsustainable.
But we cannot fix the staffing crisis in our schools, hospitals and elsewhere if we do not fix the underlying causes. That means talking in an open and constructive way about improving public sector pay. But so far your ministers have refused to negotiate directly about pay with unions.
Unions worked closely with you during the pandemic to deliver the furlough scheme and to protect millions of jobs. That’s the kind of mature approach we need now.
Unions have already made clear their willingness to sit down with the government and talk about boosting pay. But while your ministers continue to refuse point blank to discuss improving wages, there can be no resolution.
In the NHS, for example, appropriate structures already exist to allow the immediate start of pay negotiations involving health unions, employers and ministers. This was exactly what happened in 2018, leading to the three-year wage deal.
We want to find a resolution to the current disputes so our public service staff can get on with doing the jobs they love. And so our public services can start to improve for everyone who relies on them.
I urge with you to meet with us as soon as possible and allow your ministers to adopt new approaches to resolving the public sector pay disputes.