The campaign against Gordon Brown's 2%% pay limit for public sector workers
What is the government going to do with the illegally striking prison officers? Send them all to jail?
The strike on 29 August by prison officers showed up the union leaders who have been dithering and "consulting" and making calculatedly vague threats of future action for months about Gordon Brown's imposed cut in real wages. Brown insists that public sector pay rises be limited to 2% at a time when inflation is 5%.
By Patrick Murphy, Leeds NUT branch secretary
A local public sector unity committee was set up in Leeds in June, as a result of contact between myself and John McDermott, the city's Unison Local Government convenor (and a member of the Unison NEC). The idea was to bring activists from as many public sector unions as possible together to co-ordinate opposition to the 2% pay limit announced by Gordon Brown when he was still Chancellor. The initial organising meeting was attended by about a dozen activists from a range of unions including Unison, NUT, PCS, FBU and UCU.
By an NUT member
After stalling for months Education Secretary, Alan Johnson finally responded to teacher unions requests for a review of the current pay award. In his submission of evidence to the STRB (School Teachers’ Review Body) for the 2008/11 award he said “...if teachers get more than 2% it will take away money aimed at one-to-one tuition for vulnerable students.”
In 2008-11, public sector workers across the board face three years of real wage cuts. The Government is determined to limit public sector pay rises to around 2%, and wants to clamp that limit in to three-year deals, while inflation (RPI) is still running at 4.2%. How can public sector workers reinvigorate the idea of trade-union solidarity across different trades and unions on this issue?