The government prepared for summer and autumn struggles with trade unions today as they offered two million public sector workers, including doctors and nurses, a below-inflation wage increase.
More than a million NHS workers including nurses, midwives and paramedics have been given a rise which will see the lowest paid receive £1,400 – up 9.3 per cent – ministers said.
But doctors and dentists are preparing for industrial action after being given a 4.5 percent increase. NHS doctors and GPs have been pushing for a 30 per cent pay rise for five years.
In addition, the police have been given an average salary increase of only 5 percent.
Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) continues at a 40-year high of 9.1 percent, and could reach 11 percent this year.
Unions are demanding wage increases that at least keep pace with inflation, saying that anything less is, in effect, a cut in wages.
But they have warned that a big increase could exacerbate economic problems and leave Britain ‘poorer’.
It comes as official figures showed Britons saw their pay packets continue to lag far behind inflation despite a slight rise in incomes.
Government employees saw growth of just 1.5 percent in the quarter to May compared with 7.2 percent in the private sector.
Unison head of health Sara Gorton said: ‘This is nowhere near what is needed to save the NHS … many will seriously consider industrial action after this tragic increase and most of the public will be behind them.’
But Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: ‘We want a fair deal for workers.
‘A very high inflation-driven settlement would have a more negative impact on pay packets in the long term than a pro-rata increase now, and it is welcome that the pay review bodies agree with this approach.’
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: ‘Higher inflation-driven housing will have a far worse impact on pay packets in the long term than a proportional and proportional increase now’
Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) continues at a 40-year high of 9.1 percent, and could reach 11 percent this year. But pay review bodies that include doctors, nurses, soldiers, police and a range of other professions are expected to recommend a settlement of three to five per cent.
Speaking to LBC radio this morning, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘One thing we don’t want to do is let inflation get out of control. If that happens, you enter a bad environment that erodes people’s income, destroys people’s savings.
“This is a push through the system caused by Putin’s war in Ukraine and the great depression that forced, for example, the supply of oil.
“It’s vital that we don’t run out of inflation, otherwise we’ll be poorer, and that’s why a plan that gets us back on track as quickly as possible is important – and wage increases will need to reflect that.”
Today, Nadhim Zahawi, the Chancellor, will argue today to stop salary increases to stop pushing demand further, adding to the greater burden of the cost of living.
The proposed housing is well below the forecast rate for inflation, which is expected to peak at 11 percent this fall.
The plans put ministers on a collision course with major public sector unions, which have warned of an autumn of industrial action.
Only newly qualified teachers are expected to get the biggest increase as part of the Tory manifesto plans to increase starting salaries to £30,000 at the next election.
Peter Crooks, deputy chairman of the British Dental Association, said: ‘For a decade we have seen the pejorative terms of “pay restraints” and “efficiency savings” amount to the deepest pay cuts in the public sector.
‘This outrageous offer will only serve to give dentists more reason to reconsider their future in the NHS, and millions of patients will pay the price.’
A Whitehall source admitted the payments would be difficult for many, but said it was important for the Government to control inflation.
“Payment review agencies are independent, but they have to focus on what is affordable,” the source said.
‘You’ll see a lot of housing coming in between three and five percent. It will be difficult for people. But we have to manage things responsibly, and the alternative – letting inflation get out of control – does more damage to people’s incomes in the long run.’
Public sector workers and members of Unison gather outside the Houses of Parliament in central London in 2014
Payrolls face RECORD 2.8% drop as inflation soars
Pay packets are falling at a record pace as inflation rises – but the job market still looks strong.
Official figures show that total earnings were growing at an annual rate of 6.2 percent in the May quarter, while regular pay – excluding bonuses – was rising by 4.3 percent.
However, accounting for inflation both measures were falling – with gross wages down 1.9 percent compared to the headline CPI over the three months and nominal wages down 3.7 percent. The latter was the worst since the statistics began to be collected in 2001.
Using the ONS’s recommended measure of CPI including housing costs, total payments were down 0.9 per cent and ordinary payments fell by 2.8 per cent – again the biggest drop on record.
Despite the tight cost of living, the labor market appears to be holding steady with unemployment down 0.1 percent compared to the previous quarter, to 3.8 percent.
The number of workers on payrolls rose by 31,000 in June to another record high of 29.6 million. And vacancies in the three months to June sat near their peak of less than 1.3 million.
Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi welcomed the employment figures but said he was ‘well aware’ of the pressure on household finances.
Today’s pay comments will cover doctors and dentists, nurses, teachers, prison officers, soldiers, judges and senior civil servants.
Nadhim Zahawi, the Chancellor, will argue today for a payment freeze, the Telegraph has said.
The newspaper said Mr Zahawi will say: ‘That means providing good public funds to avoid further developing demand, providing support to households as they face the worst price rise in a generation.
And, where we can, ease the supply constraints that are the main cause of inflation. The country should be confident that we can, and will, bring inflation back under control’.
But Pat Cullen, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, which is seeking a 16 per cent increase, said nurses ‘will consider industrial action if ministers do not budge’, according to the Daily Mail.
He said: ‘There are tens of thousands of nursing jobs open and unfair treatment will push more out of the profession.’
Separately, a three-day strike due to start tomorrow by Royal Mail managers from the Unite union has been called off. Royal Mail’s 2,400 members accepted proposals on jobs, pay and conditions in a vote of almost two to one. However, Unite said that the dispute is not over.
The UK’s biggest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, the police service and energy has also hinted this could mean workers leaving their jobs.
UNISON head of health and chair of the NHS group of trade unions Sara Gorton said: ‘Health workers struggling to pay their bills have been waiting months for the increase they were due to receive in the spring.
‘The public clearly support above-inflation pay rises in the NHS. People say they will also be behind NHS workers if they choose to take strike action if a deserved increase does not happen. Ministers must act now instead of stumbling into a crisis that nobody wants to see.
“The government must find the necessary funds or risk exacerbating the current labor crisis and “increasing tests and treatment for patients.”
Chartered Physiotherapy Association assistant director and NHS trade union group secretary Elaine Sparkes said: ‘The NHS has a staffing problem, and it is unthinkable that the government would consider making this worse through a pay rise that is below inflation. price.
“That could cause more staff to leave and put a greater burden on those who remain, while increasing patient waiting times.
“The government must act with above-inflation increases that help recruit, and more importantly retain, patients who need it most.”
Whitehall sources said pay review bodies comprising doctors, nurses, police, police and a range of other professions would recommend a three to five per cent settlement.