Millions of UK public sector workers given below-inflation pay rise

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The Guardian

Millions of public sector workers including teachers, doctors, nurses, and police officers are to receive a below-inflation pay rises this year, raising the prospect of industrial action.

Unions said many staff would quit rather than accept a real-terms pay cut, exacerbating recruitment and retention problems in key areas such as teaching, nursing and social care and adding to waiting times for operations.

With energy and food costs soaring, unions had demanded pay rises of at least the rate of inflation – currently 9.1% but expected to rise to 11% later in the year, according to the Bank of England – putting them on a collision course with ministers who have insisted pay restraint is necessary to curb inflation.

The pay awards cover teachers, NHS workers, doctors and dentists, police officers, prison officers, judges and members of the armed forces.

In a series of ministerial statements on Tuesday afternoon, the government announced:

  • More than 1 million NHS staff including nurses, midwives and paramedics will get a pay rise of £1,400, equivalent to 4%, although cleaners and porters will get 9.3%. Doctors and dentists will receive 4.5%.

  • Teachers have been awarded 5% – though newly qualified teachers are awarded 8.9%, bringing starting salaries up to £30,000, a 2019 Conservative manifesto commitment.

  • Police officers in England and Wales will receive a consolidated pay award of £1,900, equivalent to a 5% increase overall

The awards come as workers struggle with the cost of living crisis and record falls in living standards in recent months, a situation the TUC has called the worst pay squeeze in modern history.

July 19, 2022 at 09:40PM Patrick Butler Social policy editor

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