Increases to public sector wages include highest pay award for armed forces since 2007


Secretaries of State have this week (Monday 22 July 2019) confirmed pay increases for public sector staff, including hospital doctors, teachers and military personnel.

The pay awards have been agreed following recommendations from seven independent pay review bodies.

The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed proposals laid out by the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration, agreeing to a 2.5% pay increase for all NHS consultants and dentists. This includes a pay rise of between £1,940 and £2,630 for consultants, between £970 and £1,820 for specialty doctors and between £1,360 and £2,250 for associate specialists. The pay increases will be backdated to April 2019.

Furthermore, 39,000 junior doctors will receive a minimum 8.2% pay rise over a four-year period, as well as have new limits on working hours; this is part of improvements into junior doctors’ working conditions and ensures that they are paid fairly for late night and weekend shifts.

These pay increases form part of the Interim People Plan, which aims to make the NHS an employer of choice. In addition, the government plans to develop an approach for a multi-year deal on contract reform for specialty and associate specialist doctors in order to improve recruitment, retention, morale and productivity.

Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary, said: “Our NHS would be nothing without the hard work and commitment of its amazing staff. So, we are supporting tens of thousands of doctors and dentists with one of the biggest pay rises for over a decade, in recognition of their 24/7 dedication and compassion towards patients.”

The education secretary, Damian Hinds, has accepted recommended pay increases suggested by the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) to raise the upper and lower boundaries of all pay ranges for teachers by 2.75%. This equates to a £1,000 wage increase for the average classroom teacher and a £1,620 rise for the average school leader.

The minimum starting salary for classroom teachers will increase by £653, or £816 for staff based in inner London; this will increase annual wages to be between £23,720 and £24,373 for classroom teachers working outside of London, or between £29,664 and £30,480 for those based in the capital.

Classroom teachers at the top of this main pay range could receive an increase of between £963 and £1,111, creating average salaries of £35,971 across the UK or £41,483 for those employed in London. More experienced classroom teachers at the top of the upper pay range, on the other hand, might see an increase of between £1,084 and £1,327, with their average annual salaries then reaching between £40,490 and £49,571.

Teaching staff at the top of the leadership pay range could gain between £3,053 and £3,259; this equates to a salary of up to £114,060 for those working across the UK, or up to £121,749 if employees are based in London.

Hinds said: “If we want the best people working in our classrooms then it’s right that we ensure their salaries recognise the vital nature of their work, and the potentially life changing impact they can have on the lives on our children.”

Pay rises have further been confirmed for military staff, as the Ministry of Defence has agreed to the proposals made by the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body. This features an across-the-board 2.9% pay increase, the highest pay award for armed forces staff since 2007. This represents an average £995 annual increase.

A separate 6% pay rise has been awarded to the lowest paid personnel, increasing basic pay for newly trained sailors, soldiers and airmen and women by £1,140. After basic training, new and junior personnel will receive an annual wage of £20,000, ensuring that they receive the living wage rate.

Increases in armed forces’ pay will be implemented in September’s salaries, back dated to April 2019.

The Ministry of Justice has also accepted in full the recommendations proposed by the Prison Service Pay Review Body, which confirms pay increases of at least 2.2% for all prison staff as well as a targeted 3% pay rise for band three prison officers.

A total of six pay deals were finalised on Monday 22 July 2019, to be backdated to the start of each workforce’s financial year. Other pay awards include a 2.5% increase for police officers and a 2% pay rise for senior civil servants and senior military staff.

Philip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer, said: “Public sector [staff] deliver Britain’s world class public services and should be properly rewarded, which is why I’m confirming a second year of above inflation pay rises.

“This is in recognition of the hard work of millions of people, including soldiers, teachers and doctors, and will help us recruit and retain the best staff.”