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Tuc Warns Brown Of Pay Resentment

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,,-6903364,00.html

TUC warns Brown of pay resentment

Press Association

Friday September 7, 2007 8:53 AM

The leader of the TUC has given a blunt warning to the Government that it could suffer at the next general election because of "real tensions" over the way it has treated millions of NHS and other public sector workers.

General secretary Brendan Barber attacked ministers for trying to "railroad" through "unjustified" pay limits well below the rate of inflation.

He said health and council workers and other groups such as prison officers felt "real anger and resentment" over their pay this year.

Mr Barber, speaking ahead of next week's TUC Congress in Brighton, said workers were feeling demoralised - constant reforms, coupled with below-inflation pay deals, had a "negative" effect.

"The Government is paying a political price as well as an industrial price, particularly in the way pay has been managed," Mr Barber said.

Mr Barber warned that people's voting intentions might be affected by their perception of the Government's handling of public services.

"We don't know anyone who thinks that cutting the take-home pay of vital workers such as nurses and prison officers will make much of an impact on inflation - especially when no action is taken on billions of pounds worth of City bonuses and boardroom excess that feed straight into house prices.

"I hope the Government will realise and accept that however this year's issues are concluded, we certainly cannot afford a repeat of this next year. I have made these points very strongly to the Prime Minister and Chancellor."

Mr Barber called on the Government to address the growing inequality between the pay of directors and workers "more decisively".

Mr Barber said there had been a "new tone" in the Government's relations with unions since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister and there was already more consultation rather than "diktat", adding: "I hope we are seeing the beginning of real change."

1.9% pay rise to nurses when real inflation is well over 5% & HPI is 11%. Squeeze the pay of key workers when no action is taken on billions of pounds worth of City bonuses that feed straight into house prices. What a bunch of incompetent-corrupted muppets.

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