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Britain is bracing for the summer of discontent to get even hotter after Tories unveiled a “massive national pay cut” for more than 2million public sector workers.

Railway staff, posties and lawyers had already walked out over pay – and now they could be joined by NHS workers and teachers.

Tonight the government unveiled several new-style pay rises, where instead of a percentage boost, staff will get a flat cash sum.

But for millions of workers it works out at about 4-5% – a massive real-terms cut while CPI inflation soars to 9.1% and RPI tops 11%.

No10 pleaded for “fiscal discipline to make sure we protect taxpayers, managing public spending effectively and do not drive inflation up.”

Britain faces a summer of discontent as public sector workers were clobbered with a ‘massive national pay cut’ ( Getty Images)

But even the measly NHS pay rise could lead to cuts – as sources confirmed to the Mirror there will be no extra money from the Treasury.

The Department of Health admitted it is “reprioritising within existing Departmental funding whilst minimising the impact on front line services.”

After real NHS wages fell 15% since 2010, Laurence Turner of the GMB union blasted: “An offer below inflation is a cut by another name.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said it was “a kick in the teeth” adding: “The so-called wage offer amounts to a massive national pay cut.

“We expected the inevitable betrayal but the scale of it is an affront.”

NHS staff could join strike action (file photo) ( Birmingham Mail)

Royal College of Nursing General Secretary Pat Cullen warned: “Our members will vote and tell us what they want to do next. We are grateful for the growing public support, including over strike action.”

And UNISON’s Sara Gorton warned “demoralised and depleted health workers” will be “seriously considering industrial action after this pitiful increase”.

So what exactly have public sector workers been given? We go through all the below-inflation offers in full.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham ( Tim Merry)

NHS staff

Most NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts – including nurses, paramedics, midwives, porters and admin staff – will have their full-time equivalent salary raised by £1,400.

This will be backdated to April 1 and applies to more than a million workers

But it’s instead of the usual percentage rise across the board – meaning the % rise varies massively depending on what you earn.

It averages at 4.75% and it appears it will be a minimum 4% for most rank-and-file NHS staff.

For many nurses it will only be 4%, with their average basic pay from around £35,600 to around £37,000.

NHS staff will get pay rises but below the rate of inflation ( Getty Images)

Staff in Bands 6 and 7 – who would be getting less than 4% – will have the £1,400 rise ‘topped up’ to make sure remains at least 4%.

The government claimed the lowest-paid Band 2 workers like porters will get a 9.3% rise compared to last year. But this includes an interim top-up that already came in April – without it, the new rise announced today is about 7.4%.

Meanwhile 55,000 consultants, 15,000 salaried GPs, and 24,000 dentists will all receive a 4.5% rise across the board.

Around 2,500 “very senior” managers and NHS executives will get 3%, but their Trusts will get the flexibility to give them an extra 3%.


Teachers with five years experience will be given a 5% pay rise from September, in a move that has triggered outrage from unions.

The Government has improved its initial pay offer of 3% but the increase still falls well below inflation and amounts to a real terms pay cut for many hard-working staff.

Teachers are threatening strike action in the autumn ( Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Starting salaries for teachers outside London will rise by 8.9%, with salaries reaching £28,000 in the 2022/23 academic year, the Department for Education said.

But this means the Tory commitment to hike starting wages to £30,000 by 2022/23 will be missed.

The NEU and ASCL unions have said they will ballot their members over possible strike action in the autumn.

Police officers

Police officers in England and Wales will get a £1,900 pay rise from September 1 – no matter what rank they are.

This averages out as a 5% rise but varies between 0.6% and 8.8% depending on how well or badly each officer is paid.

The Police Constable Degree Apprentice minimum starting salary will be raised from £19,164 to £23,556.

( Getty Images/iStockphoto)

London Weighting and the Dog Handlers’ Allowance will also see an increase of 5%.

The Home Office said it will hand forces an extra £70m this year, £140m next year and £140m in 2024/25 to “support” funding got the rise. But it will come from the Home Office’s existing budget.

Police and Crime Commissioners

Home Secretary Priti Patel rejected recommendations from the pay review body to make structural changes to wages for Police and Crime Commissioners.

She said: “It would be inappropriate for me to make significant or structural changes to PCC remuneration. I believe these issues should be considered when the future structure of chief police officer pay is settled. Therefore, we have chosen not to accept in full the SSRB’s recommendations.”

Instead, the Government has decided to boost salary pay bands by £1,900 in line with awards for police, backdates to May.

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Prison officers

All prison staff on bands 2-11 will get a a 4% base pay rise backdated to 1 April 2022, before it is wiped out by inflation.

On top of this, Band 2 operational support grades on modernised terms and conditions will get a rise of £1,500. And Band 3 prison officers will get a base pay rise of £2,500 or £3,000 including social hours. However, these will eat into or wipe out existing ‘market supplement’ payments.

A review body’s plea for a 5% rise for prison directors was rejected. Instead they will get 3%.

Armed Forces

All members of the armed forces, which includes the Army, Navy and the Air Force, will receive an increase in their base pay of 3.75%, with accommodation charges are capped at 1%.

The changes will be backdated to April.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also confirmed a base pay rise of 3.5% for senior members of the military, those on a rank of two stars and above.

( Getty Images)

Civil servants

Senior civil servants will get a 2% pay rise after ministers rejected the recommendation for a 3% wage hike.

Pay band minimums will be increased from £71,000 to £73,000 for pay band 1, £93,000 to £95,000 for pay band 2 and £120,000 to £125,000 for pay band 3.

A pot to address pay anomalies will be increased by 1%.

The FDA union reacted with dismay to the decision, accusing ministers of treating staff with “contempt”.

Assistant General Secretary Lucille Thirlby said: “A 2% pay increase is, in fact, a significant pay cut, and it is an extraordinary decision when you consider that other public sector leaders, who civil servants work alongside, will receive increases of between 3 and 4.5%.”


Justice Secretary Dominic Raab rejected the pay review body’s recommendation for 3.5% hikes for all judicial office holders, which includes judges and magistrates.

He instead proposed a 3% pay award for the group, saying: “This ensures that the judiciary are not receiving a pay award in excess of what is on offer to court staff and senior civil servants.”

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