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Govt can afford wage rise, says union

15 Jul 2008

Govt can afford wage rise, says union Local authorities in England and Wales can afford to offer better wages to their staff, one union has claimed.

Unison claims town halls nationwide have the means to cover proposed pay rises through the £3 billion of unused reserves accumulated through efficiency savings.

Dave Prentis, the union's general secretary, maintains these funds should be used to improve on the rejected 2.45 per cent pay offer recently turned down by staff.

"These billions of pounds in the bank, put there by the hard work of hundreds of thousands of low paid Unison members, should be used by the employers to settle this potentially damaging dispute," he added.

He concluded that the employers do not have to go to the government with a "begging bowl, or put up council tax" as the solution is "staring them in the face".

Students who work part-time for local authorities in order to support their studies could be interested to hear the argument for their pay rise.

The union is planning strike action on Wednesday and Thursday when up to 600,000 local authority workers will act over what is being seen as a real-term pay cut.

Meanwhile, the Workplace Intelligence Unit's new 'social capital in the workforce' report found half of UK workers do not feel valued by the firms they work for.

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