MPs to vote on lifting of public sector pay cap
(ShareCast News) - Downing Street is set to lift the 1% pay cap on public sector employees for both police and prison officers for the first time since 2013 after receiving new recommendations from several independent pay review bodies aimed at targeting recruitment and retention issues.
Public sector salaries were frozen for two years in 2010 for those earning in excess of £21,000 a year, before being capped below the national rate of inflation; however, ministers are said to be prepared to accept recommendations for bigger pay rises after the proposed changes received backing from trade unions, the opposition, and several Tory party members.
The Treasury will reportedly issue guidance on 2018's pay round as well, which was said to see the cap eased in other areas suffering from similar issues, such as nursing and teaching, recommending those trade bodies take their recruitment and retention issues into consideration when recommending their next set of wage increases.
The Trade Unions Congress referred to the vote as a "crack in the ice" of pay control, but said that the failure to lift the cap across the board - which Labour had called for - was unfair to the likes of nurses, paramedics, and firefighters whose seven year wait for an increase in salary was "a long time for anyone to manage."
"We're very clear that public service workers are a team. Pay shouldn't be a popularity contest. We know that frontline workers, so-called, depend on the whole team so we want a pay rise across the board," said Frances O'Grady of the TUC on Monday morning's edition of the BBC's Today programme.
The vote was set for 13 September.