New TUC boss calls for urgent meeting with Prime Minister to help resolve public sector disputes
The new General Secretary of the TUC has called for an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister in a bid to resolve the growing number of public sector disputes across the UK.
Paul Nowak who succeeded Frances O’Grady as leader of the union body last week has called for a change in government direction saying ministers should open pay negotiations with unions to resolve disputes.
In a letter to Rishi Sunak, Nowak highlights the need for urgent pay negotiations:
“Our public services are in crisis after years of underfunding and understaffing. We can’t solve these problems without a fair deal for the people on the frontline.
“Every month experienced employees are quitting, with one in three public service staff now taking steps to leave their professions or actively considering it.
“This is simply unsustainable.
“But we cannot fix the staffing crisis in our schools, hospitals and elsewhere if we do not fix the underlying causes.
“That means talking in an open and constructive way about improving public sector pay. But so far your ministers have refused to negotiate directly about pay with unions.”
Highlighting the need for the government to change approach, Nowak says:
“Unions worked closely with you during the pandemic to deliver the furlough scheme and to protect millions of jobs.
“That’s the kind of mature approach we need now.
“Unions have already made clear their willingness to sit down with the government and talk about boosting pay. But while your ministers continue to refuse point blank to discuss improving wages, there can be no resolution.
“In the NHS, for example, appropriate structures already exist to allow the immediate start of pay negotiations involving health unions, employers and ministers. This was exactly what happened in 2018, leading to the three-year wage deal.
“We want to find a resolution to the current disputes so our public service staff can get on with doing the jobs they love. And so our public services can start to improve for everyone who relies on them.
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