February 3, 2023

Ambulance personnel dragging a stretcher

Paramedic wages have fallen by £2,400 a year in real terms, the TUC said (Photo: Getty Images)

Union leaders claim 2022 is the worst year for real wage growth in more than four decades.

Wages fell by three percent after taking into account the cost of living – the biggest drop since 1977 and the second worst since 1945, the TUC said.

Workers lost an average of £76 a month as wages failed to keep up with inflation, it said, while those in the public sector lost £180.

Real wages for nurses fell by £1,800 over the year, paramedics by £2,400 and midwives by £2,400, it suggested.

The cuts come after a decade of wage suppression in the public sector, the TUC said. It estimated that in real terms nurses earn £5,000 a year less than in 2010, and midwives and paramedics earn £6,000 less.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘People should be able to look forward to Christmas without worrying about how they will pay for it, but family budgets have been fragmented by skyrocketing bills and wages withheld for more than a decade. down.

The Conservatives have presided over the longest real wage squeeze in more than 200 years. That’s a sign of shame.

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady

Frances O’Grady criticized Tory governments for wage stagnation in the public sector (Photo: PA)

The Tories’ inability to deliver wage increases has brutally exposed millions of households to the cost-of-living emergency.

It’s time to reward work, not wealth. We cannot be a country where NHS and teaching staff have to use food banks while city bankers are given unlimited bonuses.”

The union body said workers were “brutally exposed” as the cost of living soared, blaming the spate of strikes on staff who were “driven to breaking point” by years of wage cuts.

It said it was nonsense to claim that wage increases contributed to inflation, adding that any serious plan to improve growth would involve putting more money in workers’ pockets.

Nurses’ plea for direct talks to end strikes rejected

Ministers will not negotiate directly with unions to avert two days of strikes in nursing before Christmas, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.

Nurses offered to “press pause” during their first national strike this week if Health Secretary Steve Barclay agreed to discuss their call for a 17.1 percent increase.

But Mr Cleverly told the BBC the minister would not discuss pay and would limit talks with the Royal College of Nursing to issues such as working conditions, to keep ‘politics’ out of the NHS.

Health and Social Care Minister Steve Barclay as Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt delivers his autumn statement to MPs in the House of Commons, London.  Photo date: Thursday, November 17, 2022. PA photo.  See PA Story Political Budget.  Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Health Secretary Steve Barclay (centre) has refused to talk about nurses’ pay (Picture: PA)

Up to 100,000 nurses walk out over pay on Thursday and the following Tuesday.

They rejected a four per cent increase – recommended by the NHS pay review body – but RCN chief Pat Cullen said her union was prepared to be flexible.

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said the “irresponsible” government was “fighting”.

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