Closing the New Lanark Family Fun Day on Sunday August 31, Glen Williams, Chair of UNISON’s Local Government Service Executive, slammed the continued public pay restraint, contrasted against the plans for 11% rises for MPs, and obscene increases for cabinet advisers – in one case a rise of 36%. Yet there is no money for the public sector workers to get a decent rise.
It would cost £1bn for a 5% pay rise, whilst Trident costs £32bn. There is money, it’s just what you choose to spend it on. This is robbery. It’s not a recession.
He acknowledged that the living wage in local government in Scotland did mean that things were a bit better here than in England and Wales, where local government members will be taking their next day of industrial action in October. However, we have all been suffering from under inflation pay rises for years.
Moreover, it’s not just about pay explained Glen, but about the refusal to negotiate – in essence our employers might as well be tearing up our collective agreements. It is time for us all to draw the line in the sand.
It was a very stimulating end to the New Lanark Family Fun Day – food for thought. Watch out for your local government ballot paper after 9 September and make sure you take your vote. UNISON is asking you to vote in favour of industrial action.
On a lighter note, over the course of the day, we had some great music from Alastair McDonald, Pauline Bradley, Liam Toner and Hilary McFarlane, with a variety of songs from the three acts from You Cannie Throw your Piece off a Twenty Storey Flat, right through to Black Sabbath’s Paranoid.
There were plenty of other activities including birds of prey, and Indian Head Massages, and for the kids – the bouncy castle, balloon modelling, and face painting.
Another sunny funny day!