Unions have hinted they may seek better working conditions over significant salary rises in this year’s pay negotiations due to the public sector spending squeeze.
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The final part of the pay rise from the previous three-year agreement, worth 2.54 per cent, is due to come into force from April. But the Conservatives have already threatened to freeze public sector pay should they win the next election.
Speaking at a union pay seminar last week, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “We know that bargaining will be hard.
“As well as fighting hard to improve pay and defend jobs – in the current climate, we also need to think creatively about other ways we can win improvements in our members’ working lives, or even their lives outside work,” he said.
Despite this concession, Mr Prentis said it was not right for public sector workers to pay the price for the recession.
“It is not right to make those who work in the public services, and those who rely on them, pay for a crisis that was not of their making,” he said.
“It will undermine the economic recovery, as well as setting back the progress we have been making towards building world class services, tackling child poverty, extending opportunities, and making society fairer,” he added.