Public sector pay cap scrapped as rises on way for one million workers

Around one million public sector workers will benefit from the biggest pay rise in almost 10 years, the government announced today in an unprecedented move.

The controversial 1% pay rise cap – which union bosses claim has costed the public purse around £8.5bn in the last financial year alone – ended last year in recognition that dedicated public sector workers deserve a pay rise – although most salary rises will still remain below inflation.

Spending plans have allowed the government to issue pay increases to members of the armed forces with a 2.9% rise, as well as at least 2% for junior doctors, specialist doctors, GPs and dentists, and a police award of 2%.

Teachers will be granted a pay increase by 3.5%, with schools determining how it is set. Schools will receive a pay grant of £508m over two years to cover the increases, used from Department for Education budgets.

Prison officers will get at least a 2.75% increase, with many getting higher awards. Prison workers will get a 2% annual pay rise with a one-off non-consolidated payment of 0.75%.

This follows the 6.5% pay rise over three years that was announced in March for more than a million nurses, midwives and other Agenda for Change staff, as well as a two-year pay offer for council workers in England and Wales in December last year.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “Employers welcome the steady progress towards ending the cap on earnings for NHS staff. We now need assurances around how such awards can be fully funded.”

Prospect’s deputy general secretary, Garry Graham, said: “Today’s pay deals for the armed forces, prison workers and teachers are welcome but confirm what we have long suspected, this government have put civil servants firmly at the back of the queue on public sector pay.

“Instead of playing cynical divide and rule games with overworked and underpaid public sector workers the government should be committing to above inflation pay rises for all public servants, with no group left behind.”

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