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7 December 2012
Statement recognises no justification for regional pay and that the effect it could have had in the North, the Midlands, the West Country and Wales would have been devastating to local economies says GMB
GMB, the union for workers in public services including the NHS, will step up the campaign for the South West NHS pay cartel to disband. This follows the policy announcement on regional pay in the Autumn statement and the subsequent statement by Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister.
On 5th December, after the Autumn statement, Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, said “The Coalition Government will not impose new regional pay rates or zones from the centre – and we won't be returning to regional pay during this parliament. I want public sector workers to rest assured: what matters is how hard you work, not where you work, and that isn't about to change.
I have been clear throughout that I would not support a move that either short-changed public sector workers or exacerbated the North/South divide at such a difficult time.
It's clear to me how worried our public sector workers have been that – on top of all the other pressures they're under – they'll face a pay postcode lottery as well.
We are yet to see hard evidence to prove the claim that public sector salaries are crowding out business growth. And, on the contrary, there's a real concern that any steps that reduce wages would take money out of local people's pockets, hitting the local high street hard.
Public sector workers should have the confidence and stability that come from national pay bands. So they will remain. The case for regional pay has been looked at. It's been lost. And, for this Coalition Government, that case is now closed.”
Stuart Fegan, GMB regional officer in the South West, said"GMB will step up the campaign for the breakaway NHS South West pay cartel to disband and for no more public money to be wasted following the welcome statement by the Deputy Prime Minister on regional pay.
GMB is pleased that the idea of regionalising public sector pay has been consigned to the dustbin where it always belonged. There never was any justification and the effect it could have had in the North, the Midlands, the West Country and Wales would have been devastating to local economies.
The only surprise is that it took government so long to decide - although Nick Clegg clearly enjoyed killing off this daft George Osborne wheeze."