UC says strikers’ demand to tie pay to housing costs could have ‘overwhelming’ cost impacts for families of three, while ‘potentially devastating’ for four-earner couples
Unions are in a rare alliance against a pay hike for household workers, saying the pay deal the coalition government is discussing could ‘have devastating’ effects for more than 6 million individuals across the UK.
The head of the GMB union, Dave Ward, said the deal would create ‘an unacceptable’ risk for people who are already ‘working extremely long hours’.
The prime minister, David Cameron, is holding talks today with unions on his blueprint for the economy, after his party came out against the deal in the week before last.
The government is offering a pay rise of 1.9% for full-time workers but also plans a four-year wage freeze for part-time workers, for whom a 1.5% increase may be too low. It is also offering a 12-week parental care voucher for low-income families.
Ward said: ‘The unions have not got a vote on the deal. They have simply been told that this deal will be a huge vote winner for the government.
‘This deal will have devastating consequences for the families of three and four people in a household and is likely to have huge implications for a huge number of individuals in the workplace. It has an overwhelming impact on families of three and is likely to have an overwhelming impact on families of four. This deal is potentially devastating for households with three people.
‘This deal has a very large impact on people, and with an election about to happen, it is vital that we have a clear view about what works best for all of us.’
Ward added: ‘If you look at the people who are going to be hardest hit by these proposals, the people on the front line of the fight against poverty, it is people at the lowest end of the income scale and it is people from the middle and the top end.