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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Half of pubic sector workers got zilch in April pay settlement


As the April pay bargaining round in the public sector gets into full swing, it appears that just over half of all workers can expect to get nothing this year.

The latest figures from online resource, XpertHR, based on 29 pay reviews that came into force last month, indicated that in 55.2% of cases, staff received a zero percent settlement. The figures stand in sharp contrast to the private sector, where only 15.1% of deals resulted in no wage rises.
As many of the pay freezes in the public sector are based on national pay arrangements, the numbers covered are high. For example, the sample includes 1.6 million local government workers and 202,800 NHS doctors and dentists. There are also many more workers earning more than £21,000 a year who will see their pay frozen in line with government policy.

April is always the busiest month for finalising pay deal discussions, with around two out of five awards settled during this month.

Across the economy as a whole, however, the median basic pay award in the three months to the end of April 2012 stood at 2%, down 0.6% from 2.6% in the previous quarter. However, when broken down by sector, the median award for private sector employees during the same period was 2.5%, marginally higher than the 2.3% recorded in the same period a year ago.
The findings are based on details of 175 pay awards that were effective between 1 February and 30 April 2012 and which cover almost four million employees.
XpertHR’s pay and benefits editor, Sheila Attwood, said: "In contrast to the pay scene in the public sector, pay awards in the private sector are holding up at around 2.5%. Within this, manufacturing awards – at 2.5% – are outpacing those in private sector services– at 2%. We expect the current pattern of pay awards to continue over the coming months – in which case the squeeze on real incomes will continue for some time to come."
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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