With under 48 hours left before parliament goes on its summer holidays, Theresa May perhaps thought that things couldn’t get any worse. But she was wrong. Because the beleaguered Prime Minister has just received a frustrating end-of-term present. From her own experts.
The Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) – the body that sets the salaries for NHS managers, military officers, and top civil servants – has warned the government that the 1% public sector pay cap was causing staff to become “frustrated and demotivated”.
What’s the point?
The SSRB even went as far as questioning its own existence, given that the government seems to ignore its findings:
If the government continues to see value in having an independent body to advise on senior salaries, we believe that some serious reflection is required about how to make better use of it.
And it added that the continued cap would cause “recruitment and retention risks and fragile morale”.
And that’s at the top end
Meanwhile, it’s those at the other end of the spectrum that are really suffering under the cap. These include nurses and police officers forced to used food banks.
And it is also echoed in recruitment. There is such a shortfall of teachers in maths, physics and language jobs that the government is spending £10m to recruit and train teachers from overseas. And 12% of all NHS staff in England are non-UK nationals.
Give it some teeth
When MPs were awarded a 1.4% pay rise by the parliamentary pay watchdog, they claimed they were forced to take it. This is because MPs aren’t allowed to vote on their own salaries; they have a clause that links them directly to the Office for National Statistics’ calculation of average public sector pay.
But no other public sector workers have the same security. A simple solution would be to give the pay review bodies some teeth. Take the control away from parliament and have public sector pay set fairly and accountably.
A government in crisis
The Conservatives are in crisis; squabbling amongst themselves over the public sector pay cap, Brexit, and pretty much everything on the political agenda. And with less than 48 hours to go before the end of parliament, the SSRB has given Theresa May yet another frustrating issue to really chew over while she’s on holiday.
– Join The Canary and support our work.
Featured image via Flickr
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?