Boris Johnson must invest in public sector workers without delay, after years of pay cuts and job losses, trade union Unison has urged.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said Johnson has a “duty” to take action to ease the financial strain on employees whose income is slipping further behind as the cost of living rises.
From 2010 to 2018, the cost of living rose by 31%, but the average public sector worker’s pay increased by less than 8%, Unison said. During that period house prices rose by 37% and childcare costs shot up by 32%.
Prentis called for Johnson to honour Theresa May’s pledge that “austerity is over”, stressing that public sector employees are still to see any evidence of this.
He wrote: “If wages continue to fall behind the cost of living, the serious problems in our public services will only get worse.
“What we need now are pay increases for all public service workers to bring wages back in line with pre-crash levels.
“But, just as importantly, those wage increases need to be funded by your government, not covered by existing budgets which are stretched to breaking point.
“Only adequate funding of public services, and investment in staff pay, can begin to repair the damage to our services and to the lives of those who work so hard to provide them.”
Last month, Unison said tax cuts for the rich have deprived the UK public of almost £14 billion – an amount that would fund plans to address the social care crisis for two years.