No to Budget’s ‘postcode pay’

CIVIL service workers in the East of England could face ‘postcode pay’ following an announcement in the Budget on Wednesday (March 21).

The Public and Commerical Services Union (PCS) condemned the suggestion that workers’ pay could vary depending on where they work, saying it could send the region into recession for a decade and cause a 12 per cent reduction in the spending power of 28,435 civil servants.

George Osborne said the Government will consider the introduction of zone or local pay for public sector workers.

PCS regional secretary Richard Edwards said: “Given that there is no current organisation that compiles data on differing wage rates for similar jobs between say Peterborough and Cambridge, let alone between different parts of a city, or even more complex comparisons between county towns and cities this can only mean an arbitrary cuts to wages which will be deeply resented because it will be deeply unfair.

“The impacts will be felt in our areas of deepest social deprivation, which already have the lowest wage rates, where good schools, hospitals and other public services can make a huge difference to the lives of the most disadvantaged people in our communities. If this policy is pursued the government will offer the lowest pay in these areas. Staff with transferable skills will look elsewhere for better pay. They remain in those tougher areas today because of national pay rates.  We need to attract the best staff to where services are most needed, not use market forces to drive them away.”