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Public Sector Workers Could Swing General Election

Friday, April 28, 2017

 

New stats show which MPs at risk due to ‘Scrooge-like’ pay cuts.

Hard-pressed public sector workers could hold the keys to 10 Downing Street during the General Election, GMB warns.

GMB, the union for public sector workers, has today published a list of the ten Conservative MPs most at risk from anger over real-terms wage cuts. [See note 1 for MPs most at risk]

In total eighty five Conservative MPs have more public sector workers in their constituencies than the size of their majorities, the figures show. [2]

The Government’s current policy is to impose a 1% cap on public sector pay until 2020, continuing the wage freezes and caps that have been in place since 2010.

Theresa May has previously said that: “Our economy should work for everyone, but if your pay has stagnated for several years in a row and fixed items of spending keep going up, it doesn’t feel like it’s working for you.” [3]

Research shows that public sector workers are facing a squeeze on their wages that is even more severe than they did under Thatcher and Major.

The average full-time public sector worker has lost on £8,953 in real terms between since 2010, and they face a further £4,073 in cuts by 2020 (£13,000 in total). [4]

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:

“Enough is enough. Public sector workers keep the country going and they urgently need real pay rises.

“We’re putting Conservative MPs on notice – if they don’t deliver for their public sector constituents, then they could be out of the door.

“It’s total hypocrisy for Theresa May to talk about helping people who are ‘just about managing’ whilst denying fair pay rises to over five million public sector workers.

“Her Scrooge-like policy is even worse than under Thatcher and Major, when public services were run into the ground.

"This is not only bad for people like our school staff, emergency service staff and council employees who are the unsung heroes of the British economy - but it is also bad for the people who use these vital services.

"Conservative MPs need to realise that public sector workers have more votes than the shareholders of big business - or they could pay the price at the ballot box."

ENDS

Contact: GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS

[1] The MPs most at risk are:

Top ten Conservative MPs at risk

Constituency
MP
Party
Number of public sector workers
Majority
Majority minus public sector workers
Region
Watford
Richard Harrington
Con
28,800
9,794
-19,006
Eastern
Cardiff North
Alun Craig Williams
Con
18,700
2,137
-16,563
Wales
Derby North
Amanda Solloway
Con
16,300
41
-16,259
East Midlands
Copeland
Trudy Harrison
Con
17,200
2,147
-15,053
North West
Croydon Central
Gavin Barwell
Con
12,800
165
-12,635
London
Lincoln
Karl McCartney
Con
13,700
1,443
-12,257
East Midlands
Plymouth, Moor View
Johnny Mercer
Con
12,700
1,026
-11,674
South West
Brighton, Kemptown
Simon Kirby
Con
11,500
690
-10,810
South East
Bedford
Richard Fuller
Con
11,800
1,097
-10,703
Eastern
Peterborough
Stewart Jackson
Con
12,100
1,925
-10,175
Eastern

Top ten MPs of all parties at risk

Constituency
MP
Party
Number of public sector workers
Majority
Majority minus public sector workers
Region
Glasgow Central
Alison Thewliss
SNP
34,200
7,662
-26,538
Scotland
Bermondsey and Old Southwark
Neil Coyle
Lab
30,800
4,489
-26,311
London
Birmingham, Ladywood
Shabana Mahmood
Lab
44,700
21,868
-22,832
West Midlands
Holborn and St Pancras
Keir Starmer
Lab
36,600
17,048
-19,552
London
Watford
Richard Harrington
Con
28,800
9,794
-19,006
Eastern
Bristol West
Thangam Debbonaire
Lab
23,500
5,673
-17,827
South West
Cardiff North
Alun Craig Williams
Con
18,700
2,137
-16,563
Wales
Derby North
Amanda Solloway
Con
16,300
41
-16,259
East Midlands
Stoke-on-Trent Central
Gareth Snell
Lab
18,400
2,620
-15,780
West Midlands
Leeds Central
Hilary Benn
Lab
32,700
16,967
-15,733
Yorkshire & the Humber

Cities of London and Westminster has been excluded due to the exceptionally high number of private and public sector jobs in this constituency. These figures do not cover Northern Ireland.

[2] The number of public sector workers in each constituency was estimated by the ONS’s Business Register and Employment Survey.

[3] Theresa May said in her 2016 Conservative Party Conference speech that: “Our economy should work for everyone, but if your pay has stagnated for several years in a row and fixed items of spending keep going up, it doesn’t feel like it’s working for you.” http://press.conservatives.com/post/151378268295/prime-minister-the-good-that-government-can-do

[4] Figures taken from the GMB’s report End the Public Sector Pay Pinch, 08 March 2017: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58b828f44402436b74624b8a/t/58bf0a49bebafbf4b3e4b790/1488915022750/public+sector+pay+pinch+report+-+FINAL.pdf

Average real-terms (CPI) losses by occupation

Figures may not tally due to rounding 

Job Title
Total pinched 2010 - 2017
Total to be pinched 2010 - 2020
Catering Assistant
£4,417
£6,412
Cleaner
£6,025
£8,091
Teaching Assistant
£6,531
£8,867
Ambulance Fleet Assistant
£7,285
£9,679
Administrative Assistant
£7,838
£10,642
Qualified Residential Care Worker
£8,624
£11,709
999 Call Handler
£8,646
£11,263
Average Public Sector Worker
£8,953
£13,027
Social Worker
£9,565
£12,987
Housing Officer
£10,809
£14,675
Staff Nurse
£14,572
£18,360
Midwife
£18,011
£22,702

 

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