Guido’s Guide to Unions’ Pay Demands

Presenting a motion to the BMA conference in Brighton yesterday, member Dr Emma Runswick reeled off a list of other public sector workers, as means to explain why doctors should get an eye-watering 30% pay rise:

“All around us workers are coming together in trade unions and winning big – last month bin men in Manchester 22%; Gatwick airport workers won a 21% pay increase two weeks ago; and in March cleaners and porters at Croydon hospital won a 24% pay rise.”

“Those workers got together and used a key tool that trade unions have – the ability to collectively organise, collectively negotiate and collectively withdraw our labour… vote for this motion and I’ll see you on the picket lines.”

This boasting got Guido wondering whether there was an easily available list of all the workers threatening strikes – or indeed already striking – over huge pay demands. There wasn’t, so here it is:

  • Rail workers (RMT) – 7%
  • Barristers (CBA) – 21%
  • Teachers (NEU & NASUWT) – 12%
  • Doctors (BMA) – 30%
  • Nurses (RCN) – 5% above inflation (14%-16%)
  • Royal Mail (CWU) – In line with inflation (9%-11%)
  • Civil Service (PCSU) – 10%
  • Council and school support employees (UNISON) – 10%
  • Manchester bin men (GMB) – 22% – Won
  • Gatwick & Heathrow workers (Unite) – 21% – Won
  • Croydon hospital cleaners & porters (GMB) – 24% – Won

This list is not even exhaustive. Guido could also include Wandsworth parking enforcement officers – who presumably don’t realise they’ll massively undermine the rail strikes – and Merseyside bus drivers, who have just called off a strike after being offered a revised pay rise. BT workers are also set to strike for the first time in 35 years, and although a private company, shows yet more union manoeuvring across industries.

Yesterday, Bloomberg calculated that an across-the-board public sector pay rise of 7% would come to £14 billion of taxpayer cash, “about £8 billion more than the 3% increase that forms the top end of the government’s previous guidance”. Rishi has got the public sector hooked onto government handouts over the last two years – Guido looks forward to hearing how he plans on ending the public’s addiction and dealing with the withdrawal symptoms…

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