Union outrage at Pay Freeze announcement

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Union outrage at Pay Freeze announcement

Members will no doubt have seen today’s media reports that the Government are threatening a public sector pay freeze in 2021 and perhaps even longer, except for NHS workers.

The confirmation by Ministers that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering this possibility as part of the outcomes from next weeks expected publication of the Spending Review, has prompted furious responses from Unions across the public sector.

Ministers have claimed that this summer’s pay increase for some public sector workers, along with statistics claiming that public sector salaries have outstripped those in the private sector by 7%, justifies such a policy.

The facts

Napo members across the NPS, CRCs, Probation Northern Ireland and Cafcass will share the sense of outrage as they were not included in the summer pay round, and have seen their pay fall behind comparable professions over the last decade during which they have been subject to the last public sector pay freeze.

Moreover, the Covid-19 crisis has seen a spiral in unemployment which will also have impacted on the income of many families where the wage of a public sector worker is now the only means of income.

Our members are also among the hundreds of thousands of other front line workers who have faced significant personal risk as they have kept open vital services to the public and clients, and helped to suppress the spread of Covid-19 into our communities. These efforts have been a vital contribution to the social fabric of the UK during these unprecedented times.

Whilst we have seen some recent pay settlements for our members working in the CRC’s, some negotiations have still to take place, and progress across other employers for 2020/21 is slower than Napo would like, despite our considerable efforts to move matters forward.

What next?

It’s certain that public sector unions will launch a combined campaign through the TUC against this policy if it is announced; and will point to the timing of such a move by the Government who have suddenly found £16b for new spending on defence.

Napo will raise the issue with senior HMPPS leaders and in our ongoing negotiations with the NPS on the joint unions pay claim for 2020/21 and the parallel talks to modernise the future pay system. Likewise, in our current discussions with the Probation Board of Northern Ireland and Cafcass, where we await clearance on pay remits so that negotiations can get underway.

We will issue more news on the above and other major developments in our continuing efforts to keep members safe at the earliest opportunity. Meanwhile, we are yet again seeing clear evidence of the cynical attitude of this Government to their public sector workers.

Ian Lawrence              Katie Lomas
General Secretary      National Chair


  1. Chris Biggs says:

    This is typical of a Tory Government who see little value of Public Sector Workers, on the one hand expecting us to cover for their inevitable mistakes (TR), keep the country going in the worst pandemic in living history and then reward us with a pay freeze. All this when they get awarded an in excess off a £3000 per annum pay increase from an ‘independent’ pay award board and up to £10,000 for new computer and office equipment to enable them to work from home.

  2. Rosmary Nelson says:

    It is absolutely diabolical, MP’s found the budget to award themselves yet again with a pay award higher that the national average and to keep using their expense accounts. I have been part of the pay freeze, which has included our increments and find it very disheartening after 11.5 years to be still climbing the pay scale to a salary scale that my colleagues reached within10 years, I have been made aware that it could possible be another 8 years before I reach the ‘top’ of my pay scale. My colleagues who joined a year or two ahead of me have reached the top of our scale thankfully for them. We are all completing the same work, in fact in some cases the lower paid are taking on a larger share of the work. It does not make a person feel valued in any manner. For those who have reached the top of their pay scale, no recognition at all of the hard work and commitment that they have exhibited. The priorities of pay awards is horrid with governments, whichever party is in power, they cater for their MP’s first and the rest of the civil service is left to scamper around for the scraps if they lucky.

    I am on of those families, where I am the only wage earner, I was so encouraged when I heard that our increments would be brought up to their required level, but yet again this was a fallacy, the powers that be have wangle a way out of it and the promised increase in April next year now appears to be down the pan too — Disgusting

  3. Jane Hill says:

    Absolutely outraged, angry, disappointed, disillusioned that we have worked bloody tirelessly throughout lockdown with absolutely NO recognition unlike some services. Now, it is threatened NO payrise . Cost of living will increase; NHS are treated differently despite us all being keyworkers and having a role to play. It’s an absolute kick in the face!

  4. Thomas Brannon says:

    I think this is an absolutely disgusting move by the Government to a Service who have continued to protect the public during the worst crisis to public health since the Second World War. I have just come out of a 10-year pay freeze and to be told that I will now have to go into another one sickens me.

    In the last two weeks, I have seen more posts about financial support for NPS members than in 20-year career as a Probation Officer. The mental ill-health of our work force is being continually aggravated by the all systems as normal approach of senior management who continue to demand targets are met despite the workforce being in the midst of Exceptional Delivery Model (EDM).

    What happened to the Bonus Scheme? It ended in June 2020, yet we are still forced to see Service Users in during another period of national lockdown.

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