Trade unions have ramped up the pressure on prime minister Gordon Brown, insisting he must increase public sector pay after controversially scrapping the 10p tax rate.
Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) general secretary Mark Serwotka said it was “a disgrace” that state-paid workers were getting poorer in real terms.
Brown is already under pressure from rebel MPs within his own party over this month’s abolition of the 10% tax rate.
This struggle will not be made any easier by a strike of up to 100,000 PCS members on Thursday over low pay, nor by up to 4,000 schools being closed by teacher strikes on the same day.
Serwotka told delegates at the annual conference of the Scottish TUC yesterday: “It is a disgrace that low paid civil and public servants, who have endured damaging job cuts, office closures and privatisation, are now seeing their living standards cut by below-inflation pay rises.
“On top of this, the abolition of the 10p tax rate affects directly many of the low paid civil and public sector workers who are our members.
“We have recently negotiated agreements on redundancy and privatisation. We call on the government now to address low pay and our demands for fair pay for public sector workers to at least the level of inflation.”