Pay erosion is the widespread disaster throughout many public providers that’s now leading to waves of commercial motion. The issue is rooted within the political determination, first taken by the 2010 coalition authorities, to chop funding to our public providers.
Successive governments have refused to depart from that call ever since.
For employees within the Setting Company (EA), their pay has been devalued by 20% over that point. Combine that with the price of residing disaster, a pay freeze from July 2020 to November 2022, and it’s no surprise employees on the EA rejected the newest pay supply of round 2% + £345.
It’s nicely beneath inflation, in order that they’ve been left with no choice however to take their first strike motion over pay for the primary time within the company’s historical past.
EA employees are emergency employees too, conserving communities protected by responding to floods, air pollution, waste fires, fly-tipping, and sustaining the Thames Barrier and sea defences, daily of the yr.
However their low pay has pushed them to breaking level they usually’ll stroll out on Wednesday 18 January from 8am till 5pm.
UNISON and EA employees have agreed escalation plans and life and limb cowl with the employer in the course of the strike. However the motion might have been prevented if the federal government had stepped in to unlock pay negotiations.
The federal government says it values the Setting Company’s work, nevertheless it has put the company – and the communities relying on it – in danger, by underfunding it for years. Anticipating workers to just accept declining residing requirements, and higher workloads as vacancies improve when their colleagues go to seek out higher paid work elsewhere.
UNISON has referred to as on the DEFRA Minister to step in to resolve the pay dispute. However till then, we’ll be supporting hanging EA employees of their motion, and I’ll be assembly employees who’ve taken the troublesome determination to go on strike on the Thames Barrier this Wednesday.
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