WATCH: 'Pats on the back are as good as a pay rise!' – Dynasty star lampoons government

Dynasty actor Stephanie Beacham stars in Unison video criticising government over public sector pay

Will Hazell

News article image

She’s known for starring in a soap charting the lives of the rich and glamorous.

But Dynasty actor Stephanie Beacham plays a new role in a tongue-in-cheek video for the public sector union Unison.

The video starts with a teaching assistant not being able to buy food because "her pay has barely risen in seven years".

But "Official Spokesman" Ms Beacham is on hand to promote a new initiative for TAs and other public sector employees feeling the pinch. 

"The government is introducing a brand new scheme to show you how much we all care," she says. "Introducing, Pats on the Back!"

She goes on to extoll the virtues of the initiative: "Pats on the back help workplace morale, make you feel all warm inside, plus they're just as good as receiving fair pay!" (Immediately afterwards a high-speed disclaimer informs us: "Please note, pats on the back are not as good as receiving fair pay.")

Commenting on the video, Ms Beacham said: “I wanted to do this film because I find it deeply unacceptable that public service staff who keep us safe, look after us when we’re ill and keep our local services running haven’t seen a pay rise in seven years.

“Our public service workers deserve more than a measly pat on the back, they need substantially more money in their pockets. The public sector pay cap has to go now, and be replaced with a decent wage."

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Giving public service workers a pat on the back isn’t going to put food on their table, petrol in their cars or pay their bills.

“Government ministers have been quick to praise public servants, but slow to appreciate the financial strain their harsh pay policies are putting on households up and down the country.

“In the Budget, the chancellor needs to dig deep and give public service staff a pay rise that more than matches the rising cost of living.”

Yesterday five education unions called on the government to give all teachers an immediate, fully-funded 5 per cent pay rise after seven years of real-terms cuts.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Will Hazell

Will Hazell

Will Hazell is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @whazell

Latest stories

teacher cyber bullying

Are you a bystander to bullying?

Workplace bullying is often not just about those directly involved, but about those who are looking on, too, finds Grainne Hallahan
Grainne Hallahan 22 Sep 2021