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Stop Public Sector Pay Plummeting

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Union calls on Prime Minister to honour decent public service workers with decent pay as new analysis reveals nurses set for £18,000 wage cut in a decade.

Theresa May must make a New Year’s Resolution to stop public sector worker’s wages sliding, says GMB.

GMB union has just launched a new campaign calling on the Government to end its squeeze on wages and guarantee decent pay for decent work.[1]

Public servants doing vital jobs have found their pay plummeting as inflation rises – with nurses already losing out by more than £2,795 this year alone.[2]

They have already lost out on £14,634 since 2010 due to salaries not keeping pace with inflation, and by 2020 they look set to be a total of £18,422 out of pocket. 

Other NHS workers hit hard include ambulance care assistants, who are set to lose out on £9,943 over a decade.

In schools and local government, teaching assistants look set to be down £8,830 by 2020, social workers (£12,900) and refuse collectors (£9,000).

Existing wages are losing their value as Brexit pushes up inflation [3] and public services face huge staffing shortages, leaving the public sector pay freeze is out-of-date and not fit for purpose post-Brexit.

Public sector pay has been capped at 1% until 2020 while inflation is expected to increase at double that rate. [4]

The policy follows two years of absolute pay freezes in the last Parliament.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary, said:

“Public servants perform an absolutely vital role in our society – we would be utterly lost without them.

“The fact that their wages are dramatically falling in real terms demonstrates a lack of respected hard-working frontline workers who do decent work and deserve to be honoured with decent pay.”

“Theresa May needs to make the most important New Year’s resolution of her life – to ensure vital public servants are properly paid for the important work they do.”


Notes to editors:

Contact: Rehana Azam on 07841 181656 or at


[2] Link to table showing real terms public sector pay drop: {ATTACHMENTS} 

GMB compared annual 1% increases to typical public sector salaries to the OBR’s forecast annual CPI rates, as set out on page 93 of the November 2016 Economic and Fiscal Outlook,


[4] Page 93, CPI is forecast to go up by a least 2% in every year

Picture copyright:  Policy Exchange


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