WAGES NOT KEEPING UP WITH INFLATION REASON FOOD BANKS USE IS INCREASING NOT BECAUSE PEOPLE DON’T KNOW HOW TO BOIL AN EGG GMB SURVEY OF SCHOOLS MEMBERS SHOWS
Years of public sector pay freezes and below inflation pay rises are taking a devastating toll on these lower paid workers and it is just wrong that the staff feeding our children in schools are not earning enough to feed their own families says GMB London
A GMB London survey of nearly 1500 key workers members in schools has highlighted the impact of wages not keeping up with inflation and the resultant cost-of-living crisis they are facing.
The survey shows that 1 in 3 School Support Staff including Teaching Assistants, Cleaners and Catering Staff, in London have used food banks or think they will need to use a food bank in the future as the cost of living crisis spirals.
98% of those surveyed said that the pay award for 2022/23 must be at least the rate of inflation. This figure is clearly based on experience as over 80% of school staff are worse off than they were this time last year. Soaring energy costs, increased fuel and food prices have had a devastating impact on standards of living and families are struggling.
Lisa Bangs GMB Schools Organiser said &”The Government should be ashamed that 1in 3 key workers in schools are either using food banks or think they will need to be using food banks soon.
These dedicated and loyal workers doing an amazing job with our children every day and kept schools open throughout the pandemic and yet they are not valued or recognised by their employer and this Government.
Years of public sector pay freezes and below inflation pay rises are taking a devastating toll on these lower paid workers. This is what is driving people to food banks and has nothing to do with the people not being able to boil an egg.
School Support Staff who only get paid during term time are already having to make, on average, 44 weeks wages stretch over an entire year and this cost-of-living crisis is only make life more difficult. It is just wrong that the staff feeding our children in schools are not earning enough to feed their own families.&”
One Teaching Assistant said &”Morale is low because of budget constraints and the decisions that are being made because of this and quite frankly, an hourly wage of less than £11 per hour for the job I do and the responsibilities I have is not worth it. I am considering changing jobs to an industry that pays fairly.&” Whilst another reflected &” It’s literally outrageous to be paid my hourly rate for what I do. I love my job and my school and don’t want to look for another job, but I need better pay.&”
Another GMB Schools member stated when asked about the amount of any pay award stated that she wanted to see &”future pay increases to help people have a better life and not just to help people survive&”.
Keith Williams, GMB Senior Organiser said &”The Employer must listen to our members and should take immediate action to ensure School staff receive a pay award that is going to address the cost-of-living crisis. GMB is clear that our members in Schools not only deserve but need a real term pay increase to ensure they are not left worse off.
The results of the GMB survey should dispel the myth that Public Sector workers receive the best pay and conditions. Now the National Employer is aware of the very real impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on its employees it will be nothing short of irresponsible to offer a pay award that is less than the current rate of inflation. School staff are being hit hard and the employer and Government need to step up and address this.&”