THOUSANDS of healthcare workers, school support staff and council workers campaigning to secure a fair pay rise have received a big boost.

The boost follows the release of opinion polling data that shows the Welsh public is behind them.

People in Wales want key workers, who have supported their communities throughout the Covid pandemic, to receive a higher pay rise and they would back the workers in taking strike action to further their cause.

A Savanta ComRes poll of 1,009 people, commissioned by public services union, UNISON Cymru Wales, found: -

  • 73 per cent of Welsh people say after ten years of pay freezes and caps, public service workers deserve a higher pay rise.
  • 51 per cent of Welsh adults would support public service workers going on strike to receive a higher pay rise.
  • Just 29 per cent would oppose this.

Healthcare workers, school staff and council workers belonging to UNISON are currently voting on how they want to oppose below-inflation pay offers. The union says strike action is a real possibility.

Dave Rees, UNISON Cymru Wales convenor, said: “Working people are very worried about how increased living costs swallow so much of their wages each month, but politicians just don’t get it.

“They should be embarrassed about offering healthcare assistants, school cooks, refuse workers and thousands more, a pay rise way below the rate of inflation that will do nothing to help them get by.

“Welsh people recognise an injustice when they see one. They know it was NHS staff, care workers, teaching assistants and many more who kept their communities running through Covid.

“Public service workers are giving their all. We don’t work in hospitals or schools to get rich quick and we don’t mend your roads or collect your rubbish for an easy life. We deserve to be treated with respect and offered a significant, above-inflation pay rise.”

Karen Loughlin, UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary, said: “We want politicians in the Senedd and Westminster to reflect on these polling results and recognise they have dropped the ball.

“You don’t reward key workers – the backbone of the nation throughout Covid, with derisory pay offers. You invest in them.

“There’s one message public service workers repeat: ‘clapping doesn’t pay the bills’ and they are so angry they are considering whether to take strike action, many for the first time in their lives.

“Public service workers are the glue keeping Welsh communities together. UNISON’s plea to our political leaders is, come back to the negotiating table with a fair pay offer.”

Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,009 Welsh adults aged 18 plus online between October 7 and 18. Data was weighted to be representative of Wales by age, gender, region and social grade.

Poll results / survey

Poll results / survey