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Response to Reports PM Will Lift Pay Cap for Police and Prison Officers

Monday, September 11, 2017

?Devil will be in the detail – all public sector workers must receive proper pay rises, says union.

GMB, the union for public sector workers, has today responded to reports Prime Minister Theresa May will bow to pressure over the Government’s public sector pay pinch.

The controversial policy has seen the average public sector worker lose £13,000 over the last seven years [1].

Reports suggest that a letter issued by ministers to pay review bodies, expected by the end of the month, will signal the lifting of the pay cap on those professions with the biggest recruitment and retention problems - such as nurses and senior civil servants – in 2018/19

The cap is then expected to be lifted completely in 2019/20 for those pay arrangements governed by pay review bodies.

There is no news however on whether those public sector workers who are not governed by pay review bodies - such as school support staff, council workers and police staff - will see an end to seven years of below inflation pay rises that have seen thousands pinched since 2010.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary said:

"The artificial cap on pay was always a political choice by the Conservative Government. This cruel policy has seen thousands of pounds pinched from public sector workers over seven years,

"If real pay rises are now on the cards it will be a huge victory for GMB’s campaign and for public pressure on the Government, but all public sector workers must now receive proper pay rises. That includes those not covered by pay review bodies, such as school support staff, council workers and police staff. The devil will be in the detail."

“The Prime Minister will not be able to get away with a sleight of hand on this one – we’re watching very closely.”



Figures taken from the GMB’s report End the Public Sector Pay Pinch, 08 March 2017:

Average real-terms (CPI) losses by occupation

Figures may not tally due to rounding 

Job Title

Total pinched 2010 - 2017

Total to be pinched 2010 - 2020

Catering Assistant






Teaching Assistant



Ambulance Fleet Assistant



Administrative Assistant



Qualified Residential Care Worker



999 Call Handler



Average Public Sector Worker



Social Worker



Housing Officer



Staff Nurse






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