Private sector employees enjoyed considerably higher pay rises than their public sector counterparts during 2007-08, research has shown.
The average pay settlement for private sector employees was 4.29%, whereas the average deal across the public sector was 2.99%.
Workers in the energy, water, mining and nuclear sectors enjoyed the highest increases. The lowest pay deals were found in public administration, education and health.
The figures come from the annual Payline survey of pay deals based on almost 800 agreements negotiated between employers and unions in the UK, covering about 6.3 million employees.
Against a background of the rising cost of living, the survey shows negotiators across the board have sought additional pay and non-pay elements, such as leave and flexibility, allowances and bonuses, to add value to overall deals.
The figures represent only headline pay settlements and do not include increments, bonuses or overtime.
Lewis Emery, who conducted the survey at the Labour Research Department, an independent organisation that produces research for unions, said: “Public sector pay caps have so far kept overall pay rise figures dampened down. But deals in the private sector show inflation has clearly pushed up settlements, with unions doing what they can to protect members’ living standards.”
Emery predicted that this year’s pay round could prove to be a “model of stability” in comparison with the year ahead.