Survey reveals local pay rates 'deeply unfair'

Teacher with studentMost people believe that local pay rates for public sector workers would make it harder for schools in low-wage areas to attract and retain good teachers, according to a new poll.

A survey of 1,000 adults for the TUC also showed strong support for an independent economic impact assessment on the consequences of regional pay before the Government makes a decision on whether to press ahead with the idea.
The TUC said it was concerned that little thought had been given by the Government to the negative economic impact that lower pay rates for public sector workers might have on already blighted regional economies.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "This research shows that the Government really needs to stop, listen and think again on regional pay. These are plans that could see over two million public sector workers suffering an almost permanent pay freeze.

"Taking money out of the pockets of hard-working dinner ladies, teachers and nurses will not only increase the financial pressure on already hard-pressed families, but in undermining their spending power will hit also local high streets hard.

"Nothing has been thought through properly and rather than carry on regardless of the impact that these damaging plans could have, ministers should look before they leap any further.

"Holding back the pay of public sector workers who live beyond the South East will simply drive down wages in poorer areas of the country, cause more business closures and significantly lessen the UK's chances of growth.

"Nurses' and teachers' pay should be set by the job they are doing rather than how wealthy their local area is.

"Paying someone more to save lives or teach a child in a rich area is not only deeply unfair, it also makes no sense at all."

Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, told the GMB annual conference on Tuesday that the proposal to consider regional wage rates would not lead to pay cuts or scrapping national agreements.

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