Sunday, 2 September 2007

Kent's Public Services Under Government Pressure

Government policies are putting Kent's public service workers under exceptional and avoidable pressures. Keeping public service pay increases below inflation means nurses, police officers and teachers are experiencing cuts in real income.

Prison Officers, who have already taken strike action which is theoretically illegal over their pay, may be joined by the Police Service which is seeking ve the right to strike too. University and College lecturers have experienced declining real salaries and rising workloads for some years.

The results of these pressures upon public service workers are a constant struggle with housing and other costs. This is particularly difficult for those living in the most expensive areas of Kent, where typical public service incomes may not allow people to own their own home.

Steve Dawe comments: "The Green Party believes central Government is not directing enough of its resources into key services."

"It is clear that most people working in the Public Sector, engaged in essential work for our society, are not being valued by our Government. Kent needs its school, hospital, Police Service, Prison Service, Customs, Immigration, University, College, Fire Service and Local Government workers to deliver their best on behalf of all of us."

"How can they do this when inadequate levels of pay increase make their lives difficult. This is coupled by under-staffing in the public sector resulting in workload increases in many sectors. The public has high expectations of public service workers, but how can they hope to deliver if our Government sets goals for them which are neither funded properly not matched by adequate staffing levels?"

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