The Government have backed down over public sector pay freeze, ending a seven-year cap on wages.
Prison officers and police will both see a pay increase of over the 1% cap, though union bosses warn bills are still increasing faster than wages.
Officers who work in correctional facitilies will receive an average 1.7% pay rise, while and police officers will receive additional pay totalling 2% for 2017/18.
Downing Street confirmed the news, claiming ministers are ready to show ‘flexibility’ in the public sector pay round for 2018/19.
The government has agreed to accept the recommendation of independent pay review bodies for increases above the 1% cap.
‘There will still be a need for pay discipline over the coming years to ensure the affordability of public services and the sustainability of public sector employment. However the government recognizes that in some parts of the public sector, particularly in areas of skill shortage, more flexibility may be required,’ the No. 10 spokesman said.
The government said the pay rises would be paid for within existing departmental budgets.
Although the figures are an increase, they still fall well below inflation.
General Secretary for the Trades Union Congress, Frances O’Grady said: ‘This below-inflation pay offer is pathetic.
‘Public sector workers have suffered seven long years of real pay cuts, and are thousands of pounds worse off. Today’s announcement means bills will continue to rise faster than their wages.
‘If Ministers think a derisory rise like this will deal with the staffing crisis in our public services, they are sorely mistaken.’