We are asking all UNISON members working in Local Government and Schools to write to their councillors and MPs to ask them for a decent pay rise in 2014. You can either compose your own letter or cut and paste the text below and use the Write To Them website - all you have to do is go to https://www.writetothem.com/ and enter your postcode.
Dear Councillor/MP (give name)
I have lived in your constituency for (insert number of) years. I am writing to ask you to support UNISON’s campaign for fair pay for local government workers.
UNISON is seeking a pay rise of at least £1 an hour for all the people like me who are keeping council services and schools running in the face of ongoing job and pay cuts. The Local Government Employers are now consulting councils on this claim. Since 2010, I have had a three-year pay freeze and just a 1% increase last year. That means my pay has fallen by 18% in real terms.
Please lobby our council to get them to support my union’s claim and get our council to put pressure on the Local Government Employers to make a decent pay offer and on central government to fund it.
Local government pay and conditions are by far the worst in the public sector. Since 2010, not only has my pay fallen by 18% after inflation, my (car allowance/unsocial hours payments/ sick pay etc if applicable) have been cut too. With food, fuel and travel costs going through the roof, I will not be able to manage.
I do understand that our pay claim comes at a time of unprecedented cuts in local government funding by central government. However, local government has saved a quarter on the pay bill and reserves have risen to over £19 billion in the last two years. The extra £2.3 billion reserves banked is more than the equivalent of an extra £1 an hour for local government workers.
If I had a £1 an hour extra, I would spend it locally rather than having sleepless nights about debt and how to make ends meet. So a £1 an hour would give our local businesses a boost and help give the economy going too. It could pay for itself in providing more tax and national insurance ‘take’ for government and less spent on in work benefits. These savings could be re-cycled to councils to pay for our claim.
I’m sure you will agree that your local council and school support workers are doing a great job. But I feel that enough is enough. We have shown our commitment to keeping our local services going against the odds. I am now asking you to show your commitment to us.
As you know, there will be local and European elections in May. Councillors and MEPs will find it hard to get the support of local council and school support workers unless they do something now about the real hardship we face.
Please help make our employers and government see that local government workers deserve better.