Pay increases for more than one million public sector workers announced

The government has announced wage increases for more than one million public sector workers, including teachers, the armed forces and doctors.

The pay increases, announced today by the Treasury, range from 2% to 3.5% and end years of slow public sector salary growth.

The pay increases include:

  • a 2.9% (2% consolidated, 0.9% non-consolidated) increase for the armed forces – worth £680 in pay to an average soldier, plus a one-off payment of £300;
  • a main pay range increase of 3.5% for teachers (2% to upper pay range and 1.5% to leadership). Schools will determine how it is set;
  • a 2.75% (2% consolidated, 0.75% non-consolidated) increase for all prison officers this year, with many getting higher awards;
  • a police award of 2%, which will mean average salary for a constable will increase to more than £38,600 a year; and,
  • an increase of at least 2% for junior doctors, specialist doctors, GPs and dentists. Consultants will also get a pay rise of at least £1,150.

Last year Theresa May announced an end to the 1% pay cap on public sector wage increases that had been in place since 2013. However, pay deals were only confirmed for police, prison workers and some NHS staff – some doctors and senior leaders were not covered by the deal

In March more than a million NHS staff in England were offered a three-year pay deal worth between 6.5% and 29%, without having to surrender a day’s annual leave, as they had previously been offered.

Last September saw the pay cap for police and prison officers removed, with many seeing rises of 1% with a 1% bonus.

According to XpertHR, the median public sector pay award for the 12 months to May 2018 was 1.3%.

Meanwhile, the Resolution Foundation has found millions of families are “worse off” today than they were in 2003, despite a record number of people in work.

It said the average household on lower incomes typically earnt £14,900 in 2003 – adjusted for inflation and housing costs. That figure fell to £14,800 in 2016/17.

Its annual Living Standards Audit claimed average income across all households in 2017/18 increased by only 0.9% – the lowest rise since 2012. The top 30% of households experienced even slower growth at 0.4%, while disposable incomes fell by 0.3% for the bottom 30% of households.

“Our analysis shows how important cash benefits like tax credits have been for supporting just about managing families and tackling child poverty since the millennium,” said Adam Corlett, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation.

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