TUC blasts 'Scrooge-like' public sector pay cap
Nurses, firefighters and police who will be working on Christmas Day have seen their real terms pay fall – while MPs award themselves a pay rise.
A new study by the Trades Union Congress said NHS nurses’ pay was down £2,600 compared to five years ago. Police officers are earning £1,300 less while midwives are down £3,300.
It comes as MPs are set to receive a thousand pound pay rise in April, bringing their salaries up to £76,000 – more than double the average income.
Around 900,000 people in total work on Christmas Day according to the TUC, which blamed the loss of earnings on the government’s ‘Scrooge-like’ public sector pay cap.
General secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“For most of us, Christmas is a well-earned break from the daily grind. But nearly a million people will be working on Christmas Day this year.
Many of those keeping our streets safe and providing emergency care have seen their pay fall sharply over the past five years.
Ministers should show some seasonal goodwill and end the real terms pay cuts.
The government’s Scrooge-like public sector pay cap has to go, to ensure that wages at least keep up with prices.”
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis commented:
“Every year emergency service workers put their lives on hold so the rest of us can enjoy the festive season.
Yet they continue to be paid well below their worth by a government that sees the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
A decent pay rise this year would be a great Christmas present for selfless staff who ministers have taken for granted for far too long.”
A spokesperson for the Treasury said: ‘The Government has made difficult decisions on public sector pay to maintain fiscal discipline and protect public sector jobs.
Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.
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