TWO million out of five million public sector workers are set to get a £2bn ‘below-inflation pay rise’ as one of PM May’s final acts as prime minister.
However, no new money is involved – it will have to come from existing budgets.
Soldiers are set to get a 2.9% rise while teachers and other school staff will get 2.75%, police officers, dentists and consultants 2.5% and senior civil servants 2%.
These increases are still lower than pay rises that are happening on average in the private sector and below the current inflation rate.
John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow Chancellor, called it an ‘insulting pay offer’ which will ‘push public sector workers further behind’.
He said: ‘After years of holding back the pay of our dedicated public sector workers, it is shameful for the government to pay for ending the public sector pay cap with more cuts.’
The GMB responded that ‘Selective handouts won’t wash with the UK’s five million public sector workers.’
It added that ‘With RPI inflation standing at 2.9%, most of the reported increases will amount to another real-terms pay cut.
‘The reported policy, which Ministers admit will not be funded by new money, gives nothing to millions of school support staff, most civil servants, and those working in local government.’
Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary, said: ‘Not only is this a pitiful pay rise, but it’s an insult to the millions of public sector workers it ignores.
‘These are the people who look after us, help our children learn, and keep our towns and cities running.
‘All of England’s five million public sector workers deserve a proper pay rise after almost a decade of real-terms pay cuts – not just a select few.
‘We’ve been here before – a big announcement about the end of austerity, and then when you get underneath it all it’s just smoke and mirrors.
‘It’s why GMB launched our Go Public campaign.’
‘We’re sick and tired of Tory politicians lining up to say they support public sector workers when they’re trying to win a few votes, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, Kevin Courtney, said.
‘Leaving this teachers’ pay announcement until the very end of term is incredibly inconsiderate to head teachers planning for next year, and to teachers who just want to know where they stand.
‘This pay increase isn’t enough. Even at 2.75%, teacher pay will again fall in real terms compared to RPI inflation … If the pay rise isn’t funded in full, this will mean more cuts to our children’s education.’