The United Kingdom has declared that about 900,000 public sector workers, many of whom have fought on the front line against coronavirus, are to get an above-inflation pay rise.
The public sector workers which include doctors, teachers and police officers will be receiving salary increase of up to 3.1% in 2020/21.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said, “The workers made a vital contribution to the country.”
He noted that more than 300 NHS workers have died in England alone after contracting coronavirus, many doing so while caring for patients.
“Teachers continued looking after the children of key workers throughout the lockdown, while police have been enforcing social distancing rules,” he added.
He however stated that not all settlements will be UK-wide as, “Teachers in England, and dentists and doctors across the UK, will see the largest increases at 3.1% and 2.8% respectively.”
“Police, prison officers and National Crime Agency staff in England and Wales will be given a 2.5% rise in pay, while members of the armed forces across the UK will get 2%,” he added.
He also said members of the judiciary and senior civil servants across the UK will also see their pay topped up by 2%.
Chancellor Rishi said, “These past months have underlined what we always knew, that our public sector workers make a vital contribution to our country and that we can rely on them when we need them.”
“It’s right, therefore, that we follow the recommendations of the independent pay bodies with this set of real-terms pay rises,” he concluded.
In contrast, Anneliese Dodds, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said, “Conservatives had frozen public sector pay for seven years, and the rises they introduced after that failed to plug the gap.”
“A pay rise for our police, nurses and teachers now is good news, but for many frontline workers it still won’t make up for a decade of real-terms pay cuts,” he added.
He concluded that “Many other public sector workers – including those working on the front line in social care – won’t get a pay rise out of this at all because the Tories haven’t made good on their promises to boost local authority funding.
“That’s not fair – and it’s no way to reward those who’ve been at the forefront of fighting this pandemic.”