Unite Calls For An End To “Austerity Pay” In The MOD

Unite the union has today called for an end to what it describes as “austerity pay” in the MOD.

A delegation of Unite representatives and members from the Ministry of Defence met with senior lay officials and also the union’s UK officer with national responsibility for the MOD, Caren Evans last week. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the on-going impact of pay restraints imposed by the MOD as part of the UK government’s austerity measures.

The union says that a pay claim was formulated to tackle and address the “reduction in the real earnings” that MOD employees in Gibraltar have witnessed with a decade of pay restraint while the economy on the Rock has “boomed.”

The claim, once finalised, will be presented to the Joint Forces Command in the UK, such a claim will seek to protect the “historic and hard fought parity agreement”, but simultaneously combat the earnings pressure that Unite members engaged in the important work of the MOD are experiencing.

Caren Evans, Unite officer with national responsibility for the MOD said: “Following the UK Conservative government’s failed austerity programme introduced in 2010, MOD workers in Gibraltar have suffered the same wage restraints as their UK counterparts and have experienced a real terms reduction in their earnings. This contrasts with the wider public sector in Gibraltar which has experienced pay increases of least inflation which has led to a wage disparity of an estimated 30% since the introduction of the UK austerity measures when compared to the MOD. There is much talk of Gibraltar having successfully avoided austerity when the rest of Europe dived into recession as a result of the global financial crisis; however austerity is alive and unfortunately kicking here in the form of pay restraint in the MOD”. 

“Following a successful meeting with Unite representatives and members from the MOD we are close to finalising a pay claim that will seek to meet the aspirations of our membership and to claw back the real terms loss in wages and the standard of living. Both the public and private sectors in Gibraltar continue to grow and prove to be the engine to the successful Gibraltarian economy; however the MOD and our members working there remain a vital cog in that economic wheel, but are being choked off by UK-led austerity. The union does not underestimate the size of the task before us and Unite calls upon all political parties in Gibraltar to swing behind the union’s campaign to address wage restraint in the MOD. Pay austerity does not benefit MOD workers nor does it benefit Gibraltar and its economy”.