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Hand-outs and tax credits

Harrow Council staff seek government hand-outs and tax credits to stay afloat  

 

Support the 2014-15 UNISON pay claim –

 “We’re worth it”

 

It’s a dark and wintry early start for Dexter who works as a Loader in Harrow Council’s Waste Service emptying the bins of local residents all year round, whatever the weather.  As he leaves for work he glimpses an unopened energy bill and winces at the thought of soaring utility bills and the ever-increasing cost of putting food on the table and in meeting annual child care costs. 

 

 

Dexter works 40 hours a week and struggles to make ends meet.  He has been hit with a local pay cut to his salary and recently lost his contractual enhancements.  He has to compete with his fellow colleagues for over time in the hope that he can earn a few pounds more to feed his family and keep up with the ever increasing London housing rents.  The temptation of entering risky pay day loans for Dexter has become a grim reality of 21st century Britain with it being too difficult for him to resist.  With the threat of restructure around the corner and annual reductions in redundancy pay, should he be laid off, the personal work and domestic stress levels experienced have left Dexter with many a sleepless night.  

Dexter is a fictitious name given to protect the identity of one our members who reported his experiences in confidence to the Branch.  Dexter relies on in-work benefits in the form of tax credits and free school meals from the government to alleviate the socially damaging implications of Austerity Britain that have been imposed by the Coalition.  

Austerity Britain, the squeeze on public finances, high inflation and five years of pay cuts to low paid council staff have affected local government more than any other in the public sector with many low paid staff, in jobs such as Waste Loaders, Care Workers and Escorts, having to rely on government hand-outs to alleviate the growing social phenomenon of ‘in-work poverty’.   

The introduction of the Living Wage by Harrow Council in 2013 helped some members but seriously falls well short of the 18% loss in real term earnings our hard working members have suffered since the Coalition took office in 2010.  Poverty pay hurts local economies and the communities that they live in.  60% of Harrow Council staff live and work in the borough which is why Harrow UNISON will be calling on the employer to support UNISON’s Local Government Pay Claim for 2014-15 well before the May 2014 Council elections.  We will remind them that decent pay boosts local communities and creates new jobs and so would be reckless for any local politician to ignore.  

Harrow UNISON members provide essential public services and so deserve a decent standard of living.  That is why the Branch is supporting the 2014-15 NJC Pay Claim (“We’re worth it” campaign) for an extra £1 an hour at each point of the NJC pay scale and also the introduction of the Living Wage raising the lowest pay scale point nationally to £7.65 per hour.  

The Pay Claim is affordable and would largely fund itself through a diversion of increased income in taxes and National Insurance payments paid to central government in meeting the Claim and by reductions in in-work benefits and tax credits paid out by government. Our members are worth it and deserve better.   

For more information on the NJC Pay Claim please visit;  

http://www.unison.org.uk/our-campaigns/unison-campaigns/worth-it/home/ 

 

Harrow UNISON LG Branch

Thursday 6th February 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Contact Us:

The UNISON Office
Harrow Unison
Station Road
Civic 7
Civic Centre
Harrow
Middlesex
HA1 2XY

Telephone: 020 8424 1795

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