Latest Public Sector News

19.03.12

Public sector workers could see local pay rates

Introducing local pay rates for some public sector workers in theUKcould ‘insitutionalise’ regional poverty, unions have argued.

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to seek more flexibility in pay rates in the Budget on Wednesday. This could affect up to six million public sector workers from as soon as next month as the process is phased in over the coming financial year.

Osborne stated that pay should mimic the private sector and be more reflective of local economies. No current employee would suffer a pay cut; instead pay levels will gradually be adjusted to take account of costs, leading to larger pay rises in the south-east where some labour shortages exist.

Treasury officials say it would ensure theUKhas “a responsive, modern labour force”, rebalance the economy and take different costs of living into account across local areas and city zones.

But the PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Driving down pay even further at the same time as cutting public sector salaries and pensions, and planning to cut the 50p tax rate, would not only be cruel it would be economically incompetent and counterproductive.”

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, added: “All this will do is drive workers to the better paid regions, leaving large parts of the country without the professionals essential to sustain local services.”

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