Public sector workers ‘fear for their jobs’

By Liz Stephens

The UK’s largest public sector union has warned that funding cuts would turn back the clock to the public sector recruitment and retention crisis of the 1990s.

A survey by Unison, revealed that public sector workers now live in fear that spending cuts will mean unemployment – and this is starting to take it’s toll in people defecting to the private sector.

The union, which surveyed hundreds of thousands of members, found low morale was a major problem for workers with many fearing cuts were leading to heavy workloads and a decrease in the quality of services.

It called on the government to scrap high profile projects like Trident and ID cards ahead of public service cuts.

Dave Prentis, Unison secretary general, said: “Our survey dispels the myth that public sector workers are immune from the worst effects of the recession.

“This year thousands of public sector workers have joined the dole queue, with even more cuts on the cards,” he said.

“Staff shortages and recruitment difficulties are already taking their toll in areas like home care, midwifery and social work.”

The survey’s findings come as both the Tories and Labour have hinted that public sector cuts are on the table in future.

Yesterday, shadow home secretary Andrew Lansley said the NHS “needs to focus on getting more for less”. Weeks previously the Tories had pledged to protect overall health and international aid budgets.

The government’s spending deficit is expected to reach £175 billion this year.