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TUC – Britain needs a proper pay rise

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  • New pay figures show real wages have only just returned to 2009 value
  • Chancellor must increase public sector pay to match the cost of living
  • Gender pay gap won’t close for decades, warns union body

Annual pay statistics published today (Tuesday) by the ONS, which show that real median earnings have only just returned to their 2009 value, show how important it is for the government to produce a proper plan to get pay rising, says the TUC.

In the 12 years from 2009 to 2021, the real value of median pay has not increased. This compares to an increase of 24% for the prior 12 years.

  • 1997-2009: real pay grew by 24% (£96 a week)
  • 2009-2021: real pay grew by 0% (£0 per week)

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Everyone who works for a living deserves a decent living. But the last 12 years have been the worst period for wage growth since Napoleonic times.

“We need a proper plan from the Chancellor tomorrow to get pay rising across the economy.

“That means a pay rise for all public sector workers that at least matches the cost of living. If Rishi Sunak does not increase department budgets the pay freeze will be over in name only.

“And ministers should strengthen rights for workers to bargain for higher pay through their unions, and immediately increase the NMW to £10 an hour.”

Commenting on the latest gender pay figures, which show that at the current pace the gender pay gap for median earnings won’t close for at least another two decades, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Women are still getting a raw deal at work when it comes to pay. At this rate, it will take decades to close the gender pay gap.

“Government must speed things up. It’s clear that publishing gender pay gaps isn’t enough on its own.

“’Companies must be legally required to explain how they’ll close their pay gaps.  And government must introduce legislation to give workers the right to work flexibly from day one with flexible working options included in job ads and invest in childcare.”

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