By Denis Sheehan, Publisher, H&C News: People employed to feed school children struggling to feed their own families.
A GMB London survey of nearly 1,500 key worker members in schools has shown people employed to feed children in schools are not earning enough to feed their own families.
The survey results highlighted the impact of wages not keeping up with inflation and the resultant cost-of-living crisis they are facing.
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 say the union.
The survey shows that 1 in 3 School Support workers including workers in catering, 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.
Results showed that 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 workers 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.”
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 workers are being hit hard and the employer and Government need to step up and address this.