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End Pay Pinch on European Public Services Day

Friday, June 23, 2017

Union makes rallying cry on anniversary of the EU referendum.

GMB, the union for public sector workers, has called for Theresa May to mark the anniversary of the Brexit referendum by ending pay restraint across the public sector workers.

The comments were made as GMB joins a pan-European day of action this Friday, 23 June 2017, which has been organised by the European Public Service Union. [1]

Public sector unions across Europe are campaigning for genuine wage rises after almost a decade of real-terms pay cuts, job losses and reductions to terms and conditions.

Research by GMB has found that an NHS staff nurse is set to lose out on £18,000 in lost wages over a decade, compared to Consumer Price Index inflation. [2]

On average, a full-time public sector worker is set to lose out on £4,000 by 2020 due to the 1 per cent cap, of which £1,400 can be attributed to higher inflation rates triggered by Brexit. [3]

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said:

“If Theresa May really wants to bring the country together, she should mark the referendum anniversary by awarding a proper pay rise to the UK’s five million strong army of public sector workers.

“Nobody believes the referendum could have been won without the promise to reinvest £350 million a week in public services. It’s time to honour that pledge.

“Inflation is ten times its level before the referendum, costing public servants hundreds of pounds more in lost earnings.

“Public sector staff are underpaid, underappreciated and leaving in droves. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find replacements. Everyone who uses public services is suffering as a result.

"Our communities are at their strongest when they stand together, and the last few weeks have shown why having properly resourced public services is vital for community cohesion. It's time for the Government to think again.

“The public sector pay pinch is counterproductive and grossly unfair. Our members – be they teaching assistants, police staff or first responders – need and deserve so much better.”


Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes for editors:


[2] Figures available at

[3] Daily Mirror, ‘Public sector wage freeze is equivalent to a £4,000 pay cut by 2020,’ 08 March 2017

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