Public sector pay needs reforming not raising

PCS trade union boss Mark Serwotka threatened to lead his members onto the picket lines in strikes unless the government agreed to hike public sector pay by 5

PCS trade union boss Mark Serwotka threatened to lead his members onto the picket lines in strikes unless the government agreed to hike public sector pay by 5

"The cap must now be lifted across the board so all public sector workers are given the pay rise they deserve".

Helen Whately said the growing cost of living in Kent meant local healthcare professionals needed to be recognised with "a fair and sensible pay settlement" but claimed money was not the main concern among NHS staff.

He called on the TUC to coordinate collective action and campaigns, including industrial action, to end public sector pay restraint across the UK.

Public sector unions attacked news of more pay for police and prison officers as "divisive and wrong".

Rehana Azam, national officer of the GMB said: "We do not welcome this announcement, which is nothing but smoke and mirror politics that insults our public sector workers".

The government has confirmed that the "hard cap" on public sector pay has officially been lifted and said there would be scope for more "flexibility" over public sector pay rises from 2018-19. Nursing staff will continue fighting until there is evidence that next year's pay body can recommend more than a 1 per cent rise.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "We must commit to marching, demonstrating and lobbying - not just in Westminster, but in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh too".

A final announcement on next year's pay deals will be made in the Budget in November.

"I don't know what the rest of the public sector is going to get".

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady branded the increases for police and prison officers "pathetic", on a day when the latest inflation figures showed prices rising by 2.9% annually.

Meanwhile, police chiefs warned that the pay award would put financial pressure on forces' already-stretched budgets and could impact on their ability to deliver services and avoid job cuts.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would scrap the cap completely "for all workers", adding: "The Labour Party totally rejects the Tories" attempt to divide and rule, to play one sector off against another'.

Miss Truss said review bodies and departments were being given greater leeway to use pay to address "pinch-points" within public-sector staffing.

She said: "What we are making sure is that we look at it on a workforce-by-workforce basis because there are very different issues for teachers than for nurses and for police officers".

Serwotka said every public sector worker deserved a raise of at least 5% to keep up with inflation and make up for increases in national insurance and pension contributions.

"There will still be a need for pay discipline over the coming years to ensure the affordability of public services and the sustainability of public sector employment. They, like everyone else, deserve to have fulfilling jobs that are properly rewarded".

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