Unions call for more action and join working at Portsmouth meeting

UNIONS have said more action is needed to lobby the government on pay rises for workers in the public sector.

Thursday, 28th September 2017, 7:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 10:47 am
Trade Union Council held a meeting in Portsmouth about pay rises for public sector employees. Picture: Jon Woods

At a meeting held last night by the Trade Union Council (TUC), representatives from a range of unions said the only way change was going to happen was if they did more and started working together.

The theme of the meeting, held at St Cuthbert’s Centre, in Copnor, was Britain Needs a Pay Rise and had speakers from Tuc, the Rail Maritime Transport Union and the Public and Commercial Service Union.

Chairman Jon Woods, of the Unison local government service group executive, said: ‘We are trying to push the leadership of the unions to try and make sure there is co-ordinated action.

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The Scrap The Cap rally in Portsmouth in July

‘For too long we have accepted unjust and undemocratic laws and gone along saying what we cannot do.

‘We need to use social media, inspire people and get people together in big rallies. The money for pay rises is there, we have to start demanding it.’

The meeting was organised following a series of protests in Portsmouth including a Scrap the Cap protest through the city centre in July. Around 200 people marched from Guildhall Square to Commercial Road campaigning for the government to scrap the one per cent pay rise cap for public sector employees.

Mr Woods said, after the success of the protest, they were asked to organise the Britain Needs a Pay Rise event.

The Scrap The Cap rally in Portsmouth in July

Addressing the meeting, RMT member Mick Tosh said for years unions had not been doing enough.

‘It is about time we started to speak up,’ he said.

‘For years, we let this cap go on but we have to stand up and make people listen.’

Alan Dennis, part of the PCS national executive committee, said joint working was key to making a change.

He added: ‘We have to make sure everyone around the country is taking action. We are asking everyone to stand to together to do that. We have to make sure we don’t stand alone but together.’