TUC says public sector pay down thousands since 2010

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has said that public sector workers are thousands of pounds a year worse off than they were in 2010.

The TUC has said that with inflation outpacing the government’s one per cent limit on pay rises for state employees, real wages are being eroded.

Prison officers and paramedics were more than £3,800 a year poorer, the TUC states. However, the chancellor has said state sector workers get a 10 per cent premium over private sector counterparts.

Since the election in June the government has come under pressure to alter its policy of limiting pay rises in the public sector.

Inflation, measured by CPI, has picked up in recent months, hitting 2.9 per cent in May.

The TUC calculates that if firefighters’ wages kept pace with inflation their average pay would be nearly £2,900 higher than it is. The figure is about £2,500 for nuclear engineers and teachers.

The average pay for an NHS paramedic is £35,577, but if the salary in 2010 had kept pace with inflation, by now they should be earning £3,888 more, the TUC says.

Pay rises for most public sector workers are set by independent pay review bodies, and have effectively been capped at one per cent each year since 2013.

Trade unions plan to submit a petition to the Treasury on Monday calling for the pay cap to be lifted.

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: “It's been seven long years of pay cuts for our public servants. And ministers still won't tell us if relief is on the way.”

On the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Philip Hammond said public sector pay had ‘raced ahead’ of the private sector after the economic crash in 2008. He said that when ‘very generous’ public sector pension contributions were taken into account, public sector workers enjoyed a 10 per cent ‘premium’ over their private sector counterparts.

He refused to comment on reports that he had said public servants were ‘overpaid’ at a meeting.

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