Tag Archives: key

A third of public sector workers are set to quit over low pay, says TUC

Pittance: key workers have put up with pathetic pay rises – if their pay can be said to have risen at all – for far too long and are ready to quit because of it.

Around one third of key workers in the public sector (32%) have already taken steps to leave their profession to get a job in another field or are actively considering it, according to new TUC polling published today.

According to TUC analysis, that means around 1.8 million public sector workers are seriously thinking about quitting their jobs for good.

In both education and health and social work, the proportion of key workers who have taken steps to leave or are actively considering it is around the same, at about a third of the workforce (34% in education and 31% in health).

The new TUC polling, conducted by YouGov, comes as the union body warns ministers that public services are facing a “mass exodus” of key workers unless ministers deliver “decent pay rises” for key workers.

The government imposed significant real terms pay cuts on key workers in the public sector earlier this year, sparking a wave of ballots for industrial action across education, health and local government this autumn and winter.

Unison, RCM, NASUWT and NEU started balloting their members this week.

Pushed to the brink by low pay

The government’s decision to hold down pay for key workers in the public sector is worsening the public sector recruitment and retention crisis, according to the TUC – highlighting the new poll findings.

Almost half (45%) of key workers in the public sector say the government approach on pay has made them more likely to leave their job in the next one to three years.

For workers in health and social care, the number rises to 50%.

Of those that say they have taken steps to leave or are considering leaving, around half cite low pay (52%).

Feeling undervalued (47%), a poor work life balance (33%) and excessive workloads (31%) are also major factors.

Latest data shows that NHS England is operating short of almost 130,000 staff due to unfilled vacancies. This represents a vacancy rate of 9.7 per cent.

In the education sector, one in eight newly qualified teachers (NQTs) leave the profession after one year in the job, with almost one-third of NQTs (31%) leaving within their first five years.

The union body says that these unfilled vacancies, on top of a decade of underfunding, has left public services “cut down to the bone” – placing huge amounts of pressure on public sector workers.

Brutal decade of pay cuts

The union body says key workers across the NHS face another year of “pay misery” after more than a decade of having their wages held down by successive Conservative governments.

Recent TUC analysis shows that many frontline staff in the NHS will see their pay packets shrink this year in real terms:

  • Nurses’ real pay will be down by over £1,100 this year
  • Paramedics’ real pay will be down by over £1,500 this year
  • Hospital porters’ real pay will be down by £200 this year
  • Maternity care assistants’ real pay will be down by £600 this year

The TUC says that this year’s pay cuts come on top of a brutal decade of pay cuts for key workers in the public sector.

Recent analysis by the union body shows that in real terms:

  • Nurses’ real pay is still down £4,300 compared to 2010
  • Paramedics’ real pay is still down by £5,600 compared to 2010
  • Porters’ real pay is still down by £1,300 compared to 2010
  • Maternity care assistants’ real pay is still down by £3,200 compared to 2010

In the education sector, teachers have already lost around a fifth of the value of their pay due to government pay cuts between 2010 and 2021, according to the NEU.

The real term pay cuts imposed this year will see the majority of teachers’ pay worth 25% less than it was in 2010, according to NASUWT analysis.

NAHT analysis suggests school leaders’ pay is down 24%’ since 2010.

Support urgently needed for key workers

The TUC is calling on the government to urgently prioritise key worker pay and public services funding in their fiscal event on 17 November.

The union body says ministers must:

  • Give key workers in the public sector cost-of-living proofed pay rises
  • Raise the minimum wage to £15 an hour as soon as possible
  • Invest in public services – reversing the impact of rising inflation and ensuring the spending measures set out in the 2021 comprehensive spending review are not only delivered but improved upon

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Key workers in the public sector helped get the country through the pandemic.

“But many are now at breaking point because of a toxic mix of low pay, unsustainable workloads and a serious lack of recognition.

“After years of brutal pay cuts, nurses, teachers, refuse workers and millions of other public servants have seen their living standards decimated – and now face more pay misery.

“It is little wonder morale is through the floor and many key workers are considering leaving their jobs for good.

On the prospect of industrial action, Frances added:

“If there is large-scale public sector strike action over the months ahead, the government only has itself to blame.

“They have chosen to hold down public servants’ pay while giving bankers unlimited bonuses.

“Ministers must change course. Without decent pay rises for key workers in the public sector, we face a mass exodus of staff.

“And it would be bad for our economy. As the country teeters on the brink of recession, the last thing we need is working people cutting back on spending even more.

“More money in the pockets of working people means more spend on our high streets.

“Enough is enough. It’s time to give our key workers in the public sector the decent pay rise they are owed.”

Source: Around 1 in 3 key workers in the public sector have taken steps to leave their profession or are actively considering it | TUC

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Tories are trying to buy the election with ‘quiet’ candidate spending hike

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Candidates in the general election will have 23 per cent more money to spend after the Tories slipped the increase through without debate. This only applies if any candidates other than Tories actually have that much money, of course.

The Observer has reported that, under the new limits, the total amount the candidates of each political party can spend has increased from £26.5m to £32.7m.

In March, the Electoral Commission recommended there should be no such increase in spending limits for candidates over the so-called “long campaign” period between December 19 and general election day on May 7.

The change to the law on candidates’ election spending, passed without parliamentary debate, was made despite a direct warning by the commission against “excessive spending” in order to “prevent the perception of undue influence over the outcome of the election”.

Ministers changed the law through a statutory instrument, the terms of which were not debated in the Commons, which is used more properly for consensual changes in the law. A Labour source said the move had not been spotted by them at the time, so they missed the chance to force a vote in the Commons.

It’s too late for that now.

We know the Conservatives have much more moolah than any of the other parties – let’s face it, they have spent all of their period in office changing the law to make it possible for the extremely rich and big businesses to donate increasingly ludicrous amounts to Tory Party funds, and this is the reason.

For example: In the past four years, 27 per cent of the £78,010,807  the Tories have raised – £21,072,508 – has come from hedge fund donors. George Osborne’s 2013 budget abolished stamp duty reserve tax on funds, a £145m giveaway to those very same hedge funds. That’s just one example.

The Observer states: “With the Tories having amassed a £78m war chest over the past four years, they can now funnel huge amounts of cash into key seats.”

We know that the Tories won more seats than anyone else at the 2010 election by throwing ridiculous amounts of Lord Ashcroft’s money at marginal seats and by lying about their policy intentions. This undemocratic move – there was no Parliamentary debate and one can hardly say it has been announced loudly; did you even know this decision was made in the summer? – clearly states their intention to repeat the same grubby, underhanded manoeuvre next year.

And we know that David Cameron has made this decision against the advice of the Electoral Commission – meaning that it should be plain for all to see that this is yet another corrupt decision by the most corrupt government of the last century.

What else are we to think of this? Lucy Powell MP, Ed Miliband’s election strategist, had a few well-chosen ideas on that subject. Writing in The Guardian, she stated:

“With only a record of failure to run on, David Cameron’s campaign is reliant on smear, fear and fat cats’ chequebooks. This is a party flush with big money backers but without the empathy or ideas the country needs, so they are rigging the rules of our democracy in their favour.

“When he was first leader of the opposition, David Cameron said he wanted to take the big money out of politics. He promised to address the ‘big donor culture’, arguing that we should ‘cut what is spent on a general election’. Yet he has now cynically changed his tune. Desperate to hang on to power, the Tories have quietly changed the rules to allow them to spend big in the runup to the election. The changes would allow them to spend millions more than they’re presently allowed, paving the way for Tory propaganda to flood constituencies.”

Opponents of Tory tyranny cannot match the Nasty Party’s spending power. All we have are our own voices and the facts.

That’s why next year – more than ever before – we have to put the message out to protect the public against the next wave of lies and ‘spin’.

The Tory Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act means we can’t spend any appreciable amount of money doing this, but they can’t stop us talking and they can’t stop us publicising the facts.

It’s up to us – all of us – to show the Tories that money isn’t everything.

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