Tens of thousands support petition calling for an end to public sector pay cap

A newly set-up petition on the House of Common Petitions Committee’s website is gaining significant support.

Set up by the General Secretary of the UNISON trade union David Prentis, the new petition has already reached the 10,000 mark, which will lead to a government response in coming days.

As of noon on Thursday 21st September the petition has 70,445 signatures.

Prentis’ petitions says that:

“Every single person who works in public services needs and deserve a pay rise. It’s time for the pay cap to be scrapped, for the government to provide additional funding for public sector pay and for employers to put public sector workers pay up now.”

It goes on to say that due to higher inflation, the pay cap of 1% amounts to a real terms pay cut.

“For more than seven years, everyone who works in public services has seen their pay decline, thanks to the public sector pay cap. Inflation is currently at 2.9%, meaning that the cap is a significant annual pay cut for those public service champions – nurses, care workers, teaching assistants, social workers and so many others - who work for all of us. Public sector pay has risen by just 4.4% between 2010 and 2016 while the cost of living rose by 22%.”

If the petitions gets 100,000 signatures it will be considered for parliamentary debate.

The petition comes following the government’s announcement that the pay cap will be lifted for prison and police officers, as reported by the Independent.

Last Friday, NHS trade unions wrote to Philip Hammond calling for a pay rise of almost 4% for NHS workers, as reported by the BBC.

In addition to this, the petition follows a similar one on Change.org created by Darren Howe, which has over 60,000 signatures.

Analysis:

The huge swing in Labour’s favour in June’ snap election showed growing public resentment towards austerity. The newly strengthened Labour party and the weakened Conservative majority give the opposition a chance to push back on austerity.

The government has already lost political ground by increasing police pay, but the question now is how far will they go? And how far can Labour push them?