Pay Up Now Graphic

It’s time public sector workers got a pay rise. Since 2010, dedicated staff have endured a pay freeze, and then a 1% cap. We’re calling on the government to Pay Up Now for the South West!

Public sector salaries haven’t even nearly kept up with the cost of living, putting the squeeze on family budgets year on year.

Now the tide may be turning, but only if we all come together to put pressure on the government to finally agree a fair wage boost for public sector staff.

Tell us your story about what ending the pay cap would mean to you and your family. Take part here >>

In the South West, average wages in real terms (that means adjusted for inflation) have fallen by about £1500 since 2008, though this figure is as high as £1750 in Bristol. Lots of towns in our region already had low average wages, but they are not cheap places to live – so people are struggling. Since 2010 public sector wages have increased by just 4%, but the cost of living has gone up by 22%.

The public sector should offer secure and fairly paid jobs, especially because in many communities there are not many other big employers, so public employment creates an “anchor” around which other parts of the economy can grow.

Our general campaigning efforts come under the Pay Up Now! banner:

  • Service group campaigns in local government, health etc are being launched to focus on the specific pay claim in each sector
  • Local government has started the Fair Pay Now! campaign for the 5% plus real living wage claim agreed by members in that service group

UNISON is working across the country for an end to the public sector pay cap. In the South West we are also working on the following:

  • Working with Labour groups on councils to put motions calling for fair wages for local government and school staff
  • Sharing case studies of public services and staff struggling because of the pay cap
  • More actions will come soon. Get in touch with if you have an idea!

Council lobby dates:

  • Bristol rally – 9 September 2017
  • Gloucestershire county – 13 September 2017 – PASSED!
  • B&NES – 14 September 2017 – Tories voted down our pay cap motion
  • Plymouth – 25 September – PASSED!
  • North Somerset – 26 September 2017 – Tories voted down our pay cap motion
  • Somerset county council – 29 November – Tories voted down our pay cap motion
  • Bristol public sector pay motion – 15 January (depending on time)
  • More being confirmed…


Where are our MPs in the debate on public sector pay?

On Monday, South West MPs had a choice to make. Would they back the region’s public service workers, or would they duck out of the public sector pay debate? Of 47 Conservative MPs in the South West, only one turned up. Alex Chalk of Cheltenham managed to spare the time to make a brief attack […]

will your mp show up

Will your MP show up for the pay cap vote?

Public sector workers are thousands of pounds worse off every year because of the pay cap. On Monday 4 December, Members of Parliament will debate ending the seven-year pay cap. But will your MP show up? More than 100,000 people signed UNISON’s petition calling for the end of the pay cap. So now it has […]

Gloucestershire council debates fair pay for public service workers

A motion calling for fair pay for public service workers will be debated by Gloucestershire councillors this Wednesday (13 September 2017). The motion would commit Gloucestershire council to support ending the public sector pay cap, which has meant average pay for public employees decreased in value by £3,875 since 2010. Labour councillors proposing the public […]

9 Sept rally for Bristol

Blog: The long march to end austerity

I’m marching on Saturday for the public service workers who make Bristol great. Regional secretary Joanne Kaye writes on why Bristol needs public investment, not more cuts. Ask any Bristolian and they’ll tell you: I’m proud of my city. Robin or gashead, Clifton heights or south of the river, new arrival or the latest in […]