Monday, July 4

Meagre NHS Pay Rises Will Cost UK £2.1 Billion, Trade Union Warns


British nurses would face a £1,600 ($2,000) hit to their real wages this year, and the wider economy would suffer a loss of more than £2 billion, if the government grants them a 3% pay rise, according to the Trades Union Congress .

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(Bloomberg) — British nurses would face a £1,600 ($2,000) hit to their real wages this year, and the wider economy would suffer a loss of more than £2 billion, if the government grants them a 3% pay rise, according to the Trades Union Congress.

With inflation running at 9%, the far smaller increase being mooted by ministers for National Health Service workers would also leave porters’ pay down £1,000 and paramedics facing a £2,000 blow, the umbrella group for UK labor unions warned Friday.

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The total impact across the NHS would lead to a loss of £2.1 billion of economy activity in England alone, when compared with a pay hike that kept up with inflation, the TUC said. It’s arguing that health workers should be rewarded with better settlements after they served on the frontline of the battle against Covid-19.

Health workers along with other public-sector employees had their pay frozen or capped below inflation during the decade of austerity following the financial crisis.

“Miserly pay offers will only be swallowed up by runaway prices,” said TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady. “Any offer that falls below the cost of living will be a hammer blow to staff morale.”

With the UK grappling with a cost of living crisis caused by soaring energy, fuel, food and tax bills, pay increases have become a big issue. While some areas of the private sector have seen significant pay hikes, public-sector workers are still waiting on the outcome of government pay reviews.

In a speech on Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson cautioned against rampant pay increases, warning against creating a 1970s-style wage-price spiral and saying “we can’t fix the increase in the cost of living just by increasing wages to match the surge in prices.”



financialpost.com

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