Responding to leaked reports of government plans to freeze public sector pay, Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:
“We warned ministers in the summer that clapping key workers would not pay the bills – but it seems in government memories are short, and morals in short supply.
“It won’t be lost on workers that their wages are set to be cut whilst the government continues to hand out contracts worth billions of pounds to its cronies. If finances really are a worry, the ultra-wealthy and the corporations who have cashed in on this pandemic should shoulder the burden through emergency tax measures.
“We are all indebted to our incredible NHS and care staff for their work through this pandemic. And alongside them have been hundreds of thousands of other key workers, in both the public and private sector, keeping this country running – and we won’t stand for these divide and rule tactics from government.
“Firefighters have gone above and beyond to respond to the pandemic, from delivering vital supplies, to driving ambulances and moving the bodies of the deceased. But a decade of pay restraint has left them poorer today than they were before the global financial crash.
“It’s brutally unfair to leave key workers to wade through the media rumour mill for answers about their livelihoods. Further attacks on pay would show utter contempt for working people. Rishi Sunak needs to come out and reject those calling for public sector pay restraint.”
For more information, go to www.fbu.org.uk