A treasury spokesperson has indicated that the 1% public sector pay cut is to be lifted as part of Theresa May’s measures to ease austerity and was quoted as saying that the public sector pay cut: “is the biggest domestic issue for us this autumn.”
Public Sector workers including teachers, police and nurses have been subject to a cap of 1% on their annual pay increase over the last 7 years despite inflation rising significantly faster: annual inflation is currently 2.6%.
On Wednesday, nurses marched to scrap the 1% public sector pay cap that has left them with a real-term pay cut of 14% and threatens patient safety.
Conservative MP Maria Caulfield told Sky that any changes would not be made immediately and that the ‘front line’ lowest pay workers would have their pay reviewed first.
Teachers underpaid by £5,000
Unfortunately, teacher pay will not be increased to catch up public sector employees to the significant losses of the last 7 years. A report by the Labour Party shows that teachers are on average a full £5,000 underpaid compared to where they would have been had their salary kept up with inflation during this time. The report shows that teachers would now earn an average salary of £40,500, up from £34,800 in 2010 but the actual salary is only £35,100.
Teachers £5,000 pay sacrifice has not reduced national debt
To add insult to injury, although the public sector 1% pay cap saves the government around 8bn per year, this tax on the hard working public sector has not been used to decrease the National debt, which has continued to rocket since the 2008 financial crash, and now costs the UK £52bn a year purely in interest. The entire budget for education in £59.6bn.
An urgent change
Theresa May has been under significant pressure members of all parties on this matter including Michael Gove, former Education Secretary and The Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth: “If Theresa May wanted to lift the pay cap she could stand up at the Despatch Box today and do it. If they can find £1bn for the DUP so that they can win their votes in Parliament then they should find the money for our hard-working public sector workers.”
This news comes in the wake of the department for education revealing that 10% fewer teachers have joined teacher training courses for this year, making it the 5th year running they have fallen short on attracting the required numbers. It’s quite clear from these figures that there is significantly reduced appetite for young graduates to enter teaching as a progression profession. As well as a significant pay increase, teaching needs a serious reputation make-over.
Author: Katie Newell
Katie Newell BA(Hons) PGCE is an ex-primary school teacher, Head of Maths, Head of Year five and languages specialist. Katie qualified in Psychology at Liverpool then specialised in Primary Languages for her PGCE at Reading. Before teaching, Katie was a financial commentator and is now the Content Manager for Eteach.com and Fejobs.com. Katie feels passionately that teachers are the unsung heroes of society; that opening minds to creative timetabling could revolutionise keeping women in teaching, and that a total change to pupil feedback is the key to solving the work life balance issue for the best job in the world.