It is welcome news that the government is planning to life the pay cap on public sector employees. This has been reported across various media outlets as a major concession, but the details point to this being a very weak offer, with little substance in reality. The pay cap would be removed with an offer of a 2.6% pay rise in line with inflation, and some wage rises targeted at professions which are struggling to recruit and retain; mainly nurses and teachers.
This 2.6% would do little to redress the 10-15% reduction in pay public sector workers have endured over the last decade, and would do little for the lowest paid, for who 2.6% of an already low wage is a marginal amount.
Unite should take the lead in rejecting this meagre offer, demand a serious pay rise from the government, and back this up with the threat of sustained industrial action. That the government is offering this amount at all is a sign of their weakness. Much more could be achieved by applying public pressure to them via strike action. Now is the time to act.