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End Public Sector Pay Squeeze

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Union begins battle with Tory Government to end decade long pay freeze which has seen vital workers £1,000s out of pocket.

GMB has launched a new campaign demanding an end to the public sector pay squeeze.

The Government originally pledged public sector wages would only be frozen for one year [1] – seven years on and our vital public servants are still being chronically underpaid.

Pay in the private sector have rocked five times faster than in the NHS since 2010 – now our cherished health service faces recruitment shortfalls, with up to 10% of nursing places unfilled [2].

Even the Government admits that the pay freeze poses “risks to the NHS …including recruitment and retention, agency costs and staff morale.” [3]

At the same time, prices are set to go up more by more than double the Government’s planned annual 1% pay increases, reducing the value of public sector workers wages by £3,300 each by 2020.

And now uncertainties surrounding Brexit are pushing up inflation even further – which is set to cost the average public sector worker a £1,000 in real terms by 2020.

The Government’s flawed austerity project has already snatched £8 billion out of the economy in lost earnings [4], holding back growth and unfairly penalising those areas of the country with higher rates of public sector employment.

GMB says enough is enough.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary, said:

"The shocking treatment of public sector workers is a typical example of this Government’s upside down approach to the things that matter.

“How does it reward the public servants who look after us, teach our children, that we all depend on all of the time? With a decade of pay cuts.

“It’s no wonder recruitment is down and moral is at an all-time low.

“It’s time to do something about it – sign our petition [5] and let’s get the message to Theresa May that we value, support and cherish our public sector workers."


Notes to editors:

Contact: Rehana Azam on 07841 181656 or at

[1] The 2010 Conservative Party Manifesto pledged to ‘freeze public sector pay for one year in 2011, excluding the one million lowest paid workers.’


[3] (page 9)

[4] HMT, Summer Budget 2015, page 27 -

[5] Petition

Public sector workers play a role in all of our lives.

They look after us when we’re ill, care for us when we’re old and teach our kids when they’re young – among many other vital jobs.

The thanks our public sector workers get from the government? A decade of cuts.

Enough is enough.

Too many workers find they have more month than money left after pay day.

Staffing shortages mean a worse service for all of us and unmanageable workloads for public sector workers.

Sign the petition today to back GMB’s call to for the Prime Minister and Chancellor, to change course.

1. No ifs, no buts - an end to public sector pay cuts. Public service workers deserve better.

2. Proper funding so that everyone gets the services they need, when they need them regardless of their bank balance or postcode.

3. Take politics out of public service workers’ pay – let independent bodies decide what’s right, not politicians

4. Pay all public sector workers enough to live on, that means at least £10 an hour.


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