COUNCIL LEADER AND TRADE UNIONS DELIVER STARK WARNING TO UK GOVERNMENT ON PUBLIC SECTOR PAY

In a joint statement, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Leader, Councillor Andrew Morgan, and the Joint Trade Unions have outlined how the UK Government’s continued unwillingness to fund the lifting of the public sector pay-cap will result in the development of further significant financial pressure and the potential need to cut vital frontline services.

County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda-Cynon-Taf County Borough Council, said:

“By not funding the long overdue lifting of the public sector pay-cap, the UK Government is simply increasing the financial pressures already placed on Local Government across the country.

“Public sector workers and teachers rightly deserve a pay increase, particularly to mitigate the result of years of austerity on their own personal financial circumstances, although taking this decision without providing the necessary financial support to Local Government is simply delivering another cut to the funding of public services by stealth.

“Unless funding for this vital pay award is forthcoming, the budget gap facing Rhondda Cynon Taf and other Councils will only increase, meaning that we will need to consider potentially reducing service levels as a result of this cut through the back-door from the UK Government.

“Such cuts will not only impact upon residents who rely upon these services, but also the public sector employees who support and deliver these services on the frontline day-in and day-out, meaning that austerity will hit hard working staff in Local Government and other public services once again. Although the headlines delivered by the UK Government, wish to paint a very different picture, these are the simple facts of the situation we face.

“The commitment to deliver the lifting of the pay-cap by the UK Government is worthless without the necessary funding to support the public sector. In simple terms, they need to back their words with funding, and soon, as we quickly approach the time in which we need to begin the budget setting process for the next financial year.”

 

Trade Unions representing Rhondda Cynon Taf Council employees said:

“The Joint Trade Unions have lobbied for this previously, and acknowledge the lifting of the public sector pay cap by the UK Government, and most recently, the 3.5% increase for Teachers, as a positive move. However, it is vital that that the UK Government now supports this decision with the necessary funding in advance of Council’s setting their budgets for the next financial year.

“Without funding support, their actions do not back their words, causing further financial pressures for our already cash-strapped public sector.

“With no additional funding to support this long over-due wage increase for public sector workers, it will simply force Councils to reduce frontline services and cut jobs.

“We therefore call upon the UK Government to fund this pay rise to ensure that hard working public sector employees are not penalised further. It is public sector workers who have already felt the impact of austerity and public sector funding cuts the most over the last ten years.

“We recognise the challenges which will face all Councillors and services if the funding to support this wage increase does not materialise. It will mean cuts to services which the public rely upon, and in turn, job losses for those employees who, according to the UK Government, will benefit from their decision. By funding the lifting of the pay rise they originally initiated, the UK Government can ensure that Local Government staff who work day-in-day-out to support our communities receive the pay award they rightly deserve, without creating further financial pressures for Local Government, who already have a significant challenge into the foreseeable future to balance their budgets legally and continue delivering important frontline services.”