Chancellor defends localised public sector pay deals

George Osborne The government is looking at salaries being negotiated at a local rather than a national level

There are claims that teachers, nurses and health workers in the north of England could see their pay cut under government plans.

Proposals to end the practice of national pay bargaining have prompted fears that some workers will find themselves on the wrong side of a North-South divide.

Ministers believe public sector salaries should be more closely linked to average wages in the local labour market.

Pay differences

In Kingston-upon-Thames, workers in the private sector earn on average more than twice as much as staff in its northern namesake - Kingston-upon-Hull.

Although many London-based staff receive a weighting allowance, most public sector staff are subject to the same rates of pay whether they work in the north or the south.

The Chancellor has announced that the government is looking at salaries being negotiated at a local, rather than national level.

Speaking in Leeds, George Osborne said: "What we're trying to do is make sure that pay is fair and that it is right for the local economy.

"We've already introduced it in the courts service, they already have local rates of pay, so we'll be asking the independent review bodies whether this is the right thing to introduce more widely in the public sector."

Labour markets

Start Quote

Wallet with money

What we're trying to do is make sure that pay is fair and that it is right for the local economy”

End Quote George Osborne Chancellor

However, the move is opposed by teachers such as Emma Hardy, who works in a primary school in East Yorkshire.

Speaking to the Sunday Politics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Ms Hardy said: "George Osborne has already said there is no extra money to fund this.

"What instead he must be doing, if there is no more money, is either putting a pay freeze on people who live in poorer areas or giving us a pay cut."

The Public Pay Review bodies will now look at the options for making wages more responsive to local labour markets, with a report due in July.

Following the recent strikes over pensions, the proposed scrapping of national pay bargaining could spark round two in a fight between the public sector unions and the government.

Tim Iredale, Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Article written by Tim Iredale Tim Iredale Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    I take it that MPs will be setting an example in how this is done bearing in mind that all their London expenses are paid for, courtesy of the tax payer. This is just another attempt by this evil government to persecute public sector employees for their own political ends.

    The Tories are only interested in pushing an ever increasing % of the pop. into poverty in order to maintain status quo.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    I really do hate the tories

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    I can see people commuting further to get the extra salary. Do I take it the Prime Minister will only get the local salary of his constituency? Will all the MPs take pay cuts? Poorer North/Richer South divide gets worse. Inequality within the same organistations become commonplace.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    A person in a particular job should have the same standard of living as another in that job, whether he resides in Windsor or Wallasey. Those on national pay scales complain vociferously in the south east, and are somewhat happier in the north west. They probably hope their poorer colleagues down south complain enough to get the National pay scale raised.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    I agree with Mike
    Lets have a trail run of local pay with MPs salaries -after all aren't they supposed to be public sector employees?


Comments 5 of 16


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