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Treasury says some public sector workers could be denied 1% pay rise


Unions reacted with anger today after the Treasury warned there should be “no expectation” that every worker will receive a pay rise in line with the 1% ceiling George Osborne set for public sector pay. 

In a letter to the pay review bodies, chief secretary to the Treasury Greg Hands said today that the government intended pay rises to be applied in a “targeted manner”.

“Some workers could receive more than 1 per cent while others could receive less”

Treasury letter to pay review bodies

In his summer budget following the general election, Chancellor George Osborne revealed the government would continue public sector pay restraint for four more years, limiting pay rises to 1% per annum.

Mr Hands’ letter to pay review body chairs, including the two that cover NHS nurses and doctors, adds: “The government expects pay awards to be applied in a targeted manner to support the delivery of public services, and to address recruitment and retention pressures.

“This may mean that some workers could receive more than 1% while others could receive less; there should be no expectation that every worker will receive a 1% award.”

Mr Hands added that without further pay restraint public sector investment and jobs could be put at risk.

The letter also repeated warnings from Mr Osborne that the government will pursue reform of pay, terms and conditions and will consider legislation where necessary.

“It is clear from this letter that the government’s promise of a 1 per cent pay rise for public sector workers was all smoke and mirrors”

Dave Prentis

Responding to the letter, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “It is clear from this letter that the government’s promise of a 1% pay rise for public sector workers was all smoke and mirrors.

“There was no substance to [Mr] Osborne’s claim and NHS staff will be bitterly disappointed to hear many of them may not even get an extra penny for five more years.”

Dave Prentis Unison

Dave Prentis

He added: “It is difficult to see how much targeting you can get from a miserly 1% without resulting in hundreds of thousands not getting a pay rise at all.

“Ministers’ acknowledgment of saving at least £8bn with the pay caps and freezes imposed on public sector pay proves it is nurses, healthcare assistants, porters and paramedics who are still paying for a deficit they have nothing to do with.”


Readers' comments (26)

  • Where's the door?

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  • I'm about to get ready to start a 12 hour night shi as a healthcare assistant, I will be running around all night and dealing with bodily fluids and faeces this is my job in the NHS and I've always been proud to be a NHS worker but like everyone else I have to pay my bills and last year I received a I% pay rise after five years of freezes now I'm supposed to continue working with the prospect of another five years with a 1% rise and the very real possibility of a cut in the unsocial hours pay I receive for working while others are sleeping if all this comes to fruition I and a lot of my colleagues will be handing in our notice and going to work for a her,an supermarket who ate currently paying note per hour than I get.

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  • So another possible pay freeze - on top of increased NMC fees, increased workloads, and the new revalidation demands. To say nothing of workload pressures, short staffing, and increased clinical responsibility. I'm struggling to afford to live on my nursing wage, and increasingly struggling with the unrealistic demands of senior management. Where does this end? With nurses on the breadline, demoralised and unable to care appropriately for vulnerable patients who already, unknowingly, depend on healthcare workers' goodwill. Shameful.

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  • How bloody typical of the government, they expect another 10-11% rise, yet, again, we get 1% or nothing at all. We put these idiots in Parliament, they are accountable to us the taxpayers. Why should they get anything? Let them try a 1% rise and see how they like it. It makes me sick to think that those of us that work for the NHS are being put upon by a waste of space government.

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  • If you voted Tory, remember, you were warned!

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  • Headed to NZ in December. T&C similar with decent respect for nurses. Thanks NHS for the education- I'm off!

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  • Here here to above comment, where is the democracy of politicians able to give themselves a double figure pay rise but grudge public sector workers 1% !!!!!!!

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  • What a---holes the government are with their obscene pay rises and false promises. They will be having to import a lot more foreign nurses in the next few years as the current ones will have either retired or shipped out in disgust at our treatment.

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  • I've been a nurse for 35 years. I have been lucky enough to progress in my career to be in a senior position, where I am still passionate about serving the public and developing staff. I feel as though leaders like me were punished this year as our increments were stopped and we did not get the 1% either. If this continues the ceiling for talented leaders won't be worth reaching for.

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  • I also have been a nurse for 35years and still mostly enjoy my job, however between the government and my management have now had enough. My notice went in yesterday and i now have a
    last day of working. I'm sure the blame for the lack of experienced front line staff will be put at our feet.

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