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CSP calls for urgent meeting of pay review body

1 December 2011 - 12:29pm

Chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement fuelled anger at Wednesday’s NHS pension protests.

He warned that public sector workers would receive a pay rise of just one per cent per annum for the two years after the current pay freeze ends in 2013.

Job losses will also be much higher than anticipated.

‘Along with other NHS unions, the CSP is calling for an urgent meeting with the chair of the NHS pay review body to discuss the implications of the chancellor’s statement,’ said Peter Finch, the society’s assistant director of employment relations and union services.

The chancellor’s statement outlined plans for deep cuts in the public sector as the country enters a six-year period of austerity.

Hundreds of thousands more jobs to go   

A report from the Office for Budget Responsibility, an independent body that reviews public finances, showed that 710,000 public sector jobs would need to be lost over the next six years – nearly double the 400,000 first anticipated.

‘I’m in no doubt that the turnout on 30 November was bolstered by George Osborne’s announcement,’ said Alex MacKenzie, chair of the CSP’s industrial relations committee.

‘We are in the middle of a two-year pay freeze, facing cuts to jobs, gradings and services, and now we are being asked to accept further cuts in living standards.’ 

The chancellor also signalled that he would be asking the independent pay review bodies to consider how public sector pay could be made ‘more responsive to local labour markets’.

Return to a discredited system

‘NHS workers are already being taxed through the planned increase in contributions to their NHS pensions,’ said Mr Finch.

‘They are now facing a further two years of pay restraint and the possibility of returning to the discredited system of local pay bargaining of the mid-1990s.’

The money saved on the NHS pay bill would be retained in order to protect the NHS budget in real terms, the chancellor claimed.

In a series of other benefit-related announcements, he said the government would bring forward to 2026 the increase in the state pension age to 67.

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