No pay premium for public service workers

“The idea that public service workers enjoy a pay premium over the private sector is clearly dead in the water” said Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON today.

Statistics out today from the ONS show the difference in pay between the public and private sector narrowing. However, when adjusted to account for significant factors pay in the public sector is in fact 1.3 to 2.4% behind the private sector.

Dave Prentis went on to say:

“The pay freeze and squeeze has hit public service workers hard, leaving many struggling to get by. The pay cap, coupled with inflation means that for many workers the value of their pay has fallen by 16% since 2010 – a massive pay cut.

“However, these ONS comparisons do not shed any light on the harsh reality of low pay for workers across the country in the public and private sectors caused by this Government’s austerity agenda.

“It is clear from the latest round of bankers’ bonuses that those at the top are thriving at the expense of ordinary workers. The rise in in-work poverty, zero hours contracts, pay day loans and the massive increase in people using food banks are all testament to workers struggling to make ends meet.

“Instead of dodgy statistics comparing apples and pears, workers across the country need a pay rise.”

Incomes Data Services, into the gap between public sector and private sector pay proved that, when all relevant factors are taken into account, the mythical “public sector pay premium” melts away to nothing.


– Last year, the Income Data Services Report “Public Sector Pay Premium: Fact or Fiction” comprehensively dissected ONS methods and found crucial failings.