The government says more than a million workers in the public sector, including teachers, police officers and young doctors, have been offered a pay rise of between 5%-7%.
Under the proposal, police and prison staff in England and Wales would receive a 7% pay rise, while teachers and junior doctors in England would receive 6.5% and 6% respectively.
The four education unions said the agreement would allow them to end the dispute.
They said they would advise their members to accept the offer.
When asked how he would pay for the increases, Rishi Sunak said that “means options – I don’t shy away from that”.
“It’s not about cuts, it’s about paying public sector workers more than anything else,” he added.
He also said the government would raise more than £1bn by “dramatically” increasing the fees on migrants coming to the UK when they apply for a visa and the amount they pay to access the NHS.
The Prime Minister ruled out financing the increases through additional borrowing or tax increases.
Mr. Sunak said the awards in the education ministry would be fully funded, but did not specify how to achieve it.
Rising prices have also spurred industrial action among other public sectors, with workers calling for wage increases to match or exceed the inflation rate spotted at 8.7%.
But with education unions enthusiastically responding to the government’s proposal, parents and students could see an end to the strikes that have affected schools across England over the past year.
Mary Bousted, general secretary of the National Federation of Education, told Sky News: “This is the largest paid award the independent review body has ever given and importantly, we have assurance on how funding, which means frontline services won’t be affected.”
On Thursday, young doctors in the UK began a five-day march, after their call for a 35 per cent pay rise was rejected.
The government has opposed introducing wage increases above inflation, warning that it would further fuel inflation.
Responding to Mr Sunak’s announcement, Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “By accepting the salary review body’s recommendations and then not funding them, the government is putting the agencies in place. themselves in dire straits – they now have to choose between paying workers in half… decent wages or cutting back on funded public services.”
TUC Secretary-General Paul Nowak said union members would be “comfortable” because the prime minister had accepted the recommendations of salary review bodies.
“The question will be – can he raise his salary in a way that doesn’t have a negative impact on services. Our members will be looking at that closely – they wouldn’t want to see Peter robbed to pay Paul.”
And BMA Council Chairman Professor Phil Banfield told the BBC’s World at One program that while 6% is a reasonable starting point, the offer may not be enough to end the dispute or stop doctors. leave the NHS.
Mr. Sunak said his offer was “final” and further industrial action would not change that, he said: “There will be no further negotiations on wages. We will not negotiate. about this year’s settlements and no amount of strikes will change our mind.”
The salaries of NHS staff in the UK – other than junior doctors and dentists – are not included in these recommendations.
Under an agreement struck earlier this year, NHS staff will get a 5% pay rise. Ambulance staff, nurses, physiotherapists and porters will also receive a one-time payment of at least £1,655.
What salary increase has been given?
- Police officer: 7% (England & Wales)
- Consultants, dentists and general practitioners: 6% (UK)
- Young Doctor: 6% + £1,250 aggregate increase (UK)
- Prison staff: 7% or more for grants (England & Wales)
- Armed Forces: 5% + £1,000 combined increase (UK)
- Teacher: 6.5% (UK)
Speaking at the Unite union policy conference in Brighton, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said pay offers would be “negotiable” and he would “not get his hands on it”.
He said there was no “magic wand that could take away the need for economic stability”, but added: “If Labor cannot break the suffocating grip of low wages, we will fail.” .”
In the Commons, Finance Secretary John Glen told MPs the government would cut the hiring of civil servants in the Department of Defense until March 2025 to help fund the rise of the armed forces.
The FDA union, which represents senior civil servants, welcomed the government’s decision to accept the pay review agency’s recommendations, calling the advice “fair and reasonable”.
Official figures released earlier this week showed that total UK wages rose 7.3 per cent between March and May, compared with the previous year.
What is a salary review agency?
Nearly half of public sector workers are covered by salary review agencies, including police and prison staff, the armed forces, doctors, dentists and teachers.
Wage review bodies are comprised of economists and human resource specialists, experienced in both the public and private sectors and appointed by the relevant government agency.
Their recommendation is not legally binding, meaning the government can choose to reject or partially ignore the advice, but it is generally accepted.
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