Public sector pay: Millions of workers await deal decisionon July 18, 2022 at 11:47 pm

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NHS staff, teachers, police and the armed forces are to find out details of this year’s wage rise.

NursesImage source, PA Media

The government is due to unveil this year’s pay deal for 2.5 million public sector workers.

The awards cover one in four public servants, including teachers, nurses, doctors, police officers, and members of the armed forces.

Unions are pressing for pay to reflect the cost of living, as inflation rises at the fastest rate for 40 years.

But ministers have signalled awards will not match price rises, warning this would push inflation even higher.

It raises the prospect of a wave of strikes later this year, with several unions already threatening industrial action if salaries fall behind.

Setting public sector pay for this year is one of the big outstanding decisions facing Boris Johnson before he is due to leave Downing Street in September.

On Tuesday, the government will publish its recommendations, covering around £100bn of public sector salaries.

The pay for dentists, non-medical profession NHS staff, prison officers, the judiciary and senior civil servants will also be covered by the announcement.

The Financial Times has reported that the government’s pay awards will average 5%, below the current UK inflation rate of 9.1%.

The public sector union Unison has warned that a “staffing crisis” in the NHS will worsen unless staff get a bigger rise.

Its head of health, Sara Gorton, said: “The public understands an above-inflation pay increase is needed or fed-up health workers won’t hang around.

“If the staffing exodus continues, waits for ambulances, operations and other treatments won’t reduce.”

Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT teachers’ union, said: “If the government hopes that teachers’ anger will dissipate over the course of the summer break, they are wrong.

“A pay award that is below inflation will be yet another pay cut for hardworking teachers.”

The Bank of England has said inflation could reach more than 11% later this year.

Last month, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke told the BBC that “unrealistic expectations around pay” could “intensify this endless inflation problem”.

All four remaining candidates to replace Boris Johnson as Tory leader and prime minister – Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Penny Mordaunt and Kemi Badenoch – have ruled out an across-the-board above-inflation pay rise for public sector workers.

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