New government will struggle to keep a lid on public sector pay

The new government may find it hard to sustain public sector pay curbs, according to research organisation the Labour Research Department (LRD).

Its analysis of pay data suggests that it will be increasingly difficult to impose a pay freeze in the public sector as all measures of inflation and private sector pay are now rising again following the recession.

This is coupled with a 2% midpoint (median) in negotiated private sector rises in the three months to April 2010.

Lewis Emery, LRD's pay and conditions researcher, said: ‘While we may not have seen the back of pay freezes just yet, there is likely to be greater pressure on all employers to settle for a positive increase as pay medians begin to rise.

‘Public sector unions are already very unhappy about plans to hold down wages. With the rise in inflation, and pressure from comparisons with the private sector, it may be hard for whichever party is in government after the election to keep the lid on public sector pay.'

Editor's blog: Should GPs just 'grow up' about pay and the need for efficiencies?

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