11 June 2013
Today UNISON local government branches across Scotland are organising workplace events and action campaigning for Fair Pay. (Resources and info here)
Dave Watson, UNISON's Head of Bargaining and Campaigns, has blogged on today's new TUC research showing billions lost to the economy because of the falling value of pay.
".....Council workers are the lowest paid group of public service staff. We know that low paid workers will spend much of their fair pay and Living Wage in their own communities – building the local economy. A study by APSE on the Economic Footprint of Local Services estimates that local government employees re-spend 52.5p of every pound in their pay locally. A similar study in Stoke put the figure at 63p.
"Today the TUC has published an analysis of pay in the UK as part of their 'Britain needs a pay rise' campaign. They show £52bn being lost from local economies including £5.5bn in Scotland. In fact pay in Scotland has fallen 9.7% compared with 7.5% for Britain as a whole.
"A lot more work has been done on this in the US including a recent report on the cost of Walmart stores paying basement wages to the local economy. A study by Demos provides further insight. It found that if wages rose to the equivalent of $25,000 per year for full-time work, more than 700,000 Americans would be lifted out of poverty, GDP would grow between $11.8 and $15.2 billion over the next year, and employers would create 100,000 to 132,000 additional jobs.
"The falling share of GDP going into wages and the concomitant rise in profits means we have an increasing pool of capital for destabilising speculation, while the workforce becomes increasingly reliant on debt. This is a primary cause of the longest and deepest recession in our history.
"Scottish council workers have actually paid for their own pay rise several times over. Not only do they deserve a fair increase, but it’s good for the rest of us as well."
Read the full blog here