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Report Highlights Public Sector Recruitment Crisis

Friday, May 19, 2017

It's time that nurses, teaching assistants, and all other public sector workers got the real pay rise they need and deserve.

GMB, the union for public sector workers, has commented on an IFS report [1] highlighting recruitment and retention issues caused by the Government's 1% public sector pay cap.

The Conservatives are committed to a 1% pay cap until 2020 – pinching an average of £3,000 a year from the wages of the UK’s 5 million public sector workers.

Labour has pledged to end the cap if elected.

A recent GMB report found that the Government’s public sector pay policy was even more prolonged and severe than those pursued by Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

75% of people support ending the 1% pay cap, including 69% of Conservative supporters, according to a Survation poll commissioned by GMB. [3]

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

"A decade of pay cuts is squeezing public sector workers' wages even more tightly than under Thatcher and Major. [2]

“The IFS rightly recognises that this policy has led to a recruitment and retention crisis across our vital public services. [1]

"Most people support an end to the cap, including 69% of Conservative supporters.

“Theresa May talks about helping ordinary working families, but her manifesto will do nothing to help over five million public sector employees.

“Enough is enough - it's time that nurses, teaching assistants, council staff and all other public sector workers got the real pay rise they need and deserve."


Contact: GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to editors

[1] IFS, Public sector pay in the next parliament, 19 May 2017, page 5: "After multiple years of pay restraint, a number of Pay Review Bodies, particularly the NHS and School teachers Pay Review Bodies have cited that pay restraint is leading to problems in recruiting and retaining the staff that are needed, and motivating the staff that are working there."

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


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