News

End the Public Sector Pay Pinch

(March 31, 2017)

Mark is backing a new campaign for public sector workers following a major new report published by the GMB union – the union for public servants.

GMB Campaign

The report reveals that following a Government cap on their wages, full-time public sector workers now face a real terms pay cut totalling an average of £4,073 by 2020, of which £1,426 can be attributed to the additional inflation triggered by Brexit.

The report, 'End the Public Sector Pay Pinch' comes as GMB launches a campaign to end the Government's ongoing decade long salary squeeze, which has already seen public sector salaries lose around a tenth of their value over the last seven years of pay restrictions.

New independent House of Commons Library research obtained by GMB on pay policy since 1979 confirms that the Government's pay restraint policy is even more severe than those imposed under Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

 

Those set to be hardest hit over a decade of real terms pay cuts between 2010 and 2020 include social workers (-£12,987), homelessness prevention officers (-£15,990), staff nurses (-£18,360) and midwives (-£22,702).

It comes as a Survation poll, commissioned by GMB reveals 3 in 4 adults (75%) would support an above inflation increase in public sector wages this year.

GMB modelling shows the Government could either reverse its decision to cut corporation tax or take advantage of better than expected public borrowing figures to fully fund an end to the squeeze on public sector pay.

The union's analysis reveals that without a change in policy, workers can expect average real terms pay cuts, some running into tens of thousands of pounds.  For example a Refuse collector has typically lost £6,659 since 2010 and is set to lose a further £2,383 by 2020 (total loss 2010-20: £9,042) and  a staff nurse has typically lost £14,572 since 2010 and is set to lose a further £3,788 by 2020 (total loss 2010-20: £18,360).

Mark said: “Preston has a higher proportion of public sector employment than other districts in Lancashire with over 30% of people in Preston working in the public sector. Public sector cuts have a huge impact on the workforce and a further knock-on effect on their families. It’s the hard working everyday workers that we rely on – the nurses, teaching assistants, midwives, council staff and 999 call handlers - that are seeing their wages disappear and who have had thousands of pounds pinched already and are facing further attacks on their living standards.”.

GMB said the Government could fund an end to the pay cap by reversing this decision to slash corporation tax rates, or by making use of better than anticipated public borrowing figures, which are £12 billion lower than expected for the 2017 Budget according to the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary said: “The gruelling salary squeeze Theresa May is presiding over is even more severe than under Thatcher and Major, with many workers set to effectively lose tens of thousands of pounds by 2020."

"It's high time for public sector workers to be paid their dues – this decade long pay pinch needs to end.”

"Lifting the pay cap would be practical and affordable if the Government stopped lining corporations' pockets with tax giveaways and instead shared the proceeds of growth with the dedicated frontline public service workers."

Click here to return to the News page