Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Monday, 8 September 2008 12:28 UK

Delegate views: Public sector pay

By Justin Parkinson
BBC News political reporter, in Brighton

Trade unions have called for concerted action to force the government to abandon its policy of limiting public sector pay increases to 2% a year - but voted against a general strike. Delegates at the TUC conference in Brighton gave their views.


Andy Reid
The pay settlement is simply insufficient. The real rate of inflation is 5% or more. Unless the government changes its minds, it's going to become even more unpopular. We have to work together to change things. I wouldn't have any problem with a wider strike. But we are all working together. If we are united the government will have to listen. If they will not listen to the force of our arguments we will have to make them do so.

Lisa Mannion

People are really angry. My colleagues and I are keen to come out in industrial action. There hasn't been this sort of strength of feeling for years, when pensions were the biggest source of dispute. Everyone is fed up with the situation. The unions have got to work together. The government hasn't been listening.


The government's standpoint is not good enough. Blaming public sector workers for inflation is wrong. It's driven by private sector pay and executive pay. It's just a political football. I was in Warwick recently for Labour's national policy forum and Gordon Brown didn't give unions the deal they wanted. The government will have to listen to us at some stage.

Glenys Morris

Some of our members are paid so little they are able to claim the benefits they administer. They feel very let down. They are forced to choose, in many cases, between fuel or food. We are not just talking about junior staff, but those further up, such as junior managers, especially if they have to live in London. I feel very disappointed, having spent my whole working life supporting Labour. I hope they are going to take notice of this. We can't allow our move to be mistaken as the politics of posture - it's about the politics of poverty.

Roger King

Our members' wages are falling in real terms. The NUT had a strike earlier this year. The more co-ordination we get the better. This will strengthen us. The whole public sector is furious that we are being blamed for fuelling inflation. I've always voted Labour and I used to be a party member. I wouldn't rejoin under New Labour. Unless the government changes its mind, it is going to be hit by it at some stage. They can't do this and expect to be re-elected.

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