Campaigning public services union, UNISON Cymru/Wales today (Monday) celebrates securing a landmark agreement with Carmarthenshire Labour group which would see the introduction of a Living Wage of £8.45 per hour for all council employees, if Labour wins control of the council in the May local elections. At a public event outside County Hall this morning, Labour politicians will also endorse the trade union’s call for services not to be outsourced and for a block on the use of private consultants to advise on cuts to community public services.
UNISON has developed its own manifesto for the forthcoming local elections and is lobbying councillors right across Wales to invest in the local public services, which it says, lie at the heart of every community. The trade union believes that council services are vital to the economic, social and environmental health of Wales yet severe spending cuts by the UK Conservative government have forced council provision of local services to a crisis point.
Dominic MacAskill, head of local government at UNISON Cymru/Wales said,
“The Labour group’s decision to support UNISON’s manifesto is very welcome. We have always been very clear that council cuts damage Carmarthenshire communities. This agreement offers the opportunity to work together to defend jobs and improve vital services across the county. Labour’s commitment here will be popular, it will lift low paid public service workers and their families out of poverty by paying them the ‘real’ Living Wage and invest in front-line care services to ensure those receiving care are afforded the dignity and respect they deserve.”
The Carmarthenshire Labour group decision follows a similar endorsement from the ruling Labour group at Torfaen County Borough Council.