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Pay freeze alert for new government

A new report has suggested that imposing a pay freeze in the public sector would be a challenge to the new government due to rising inflation and a improving situation in the private sector.

The Labour Research Department (LRD) study said that the times of "concessionary bargaining" by unions were coming to an end with a fall in pay freezes among private firms and a rise in average settlements.

The report said that while 1.6 million government employees were facing a pay freeze alongside further plans by political parties to impose wage restrictions, less than 20% of recent deals in the private sector involved a pay freeze and around 25% of deals were worth at least 3%.

LRD's pay and conditions researcher Lewis Emery 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."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Labour Research Department

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"We should all be banding together with the shortage of good nurses and healthcare assistants to get a pay rise, we are a very vital part of the team to provide care for patients yet again we will not get any recognition for the job that we do. I and many others just exist on the wages we are paid I work overtime to make up the difference, yet one doctor I work with boasts that he was underpaid by £50,000 and did not realize it. I would like to be paid that for a year's wages and I know that the doctors will be getting a pay rise - how do others feel" - Yvonne, Essex

"I have been speaking to a nurse from another authority today (Yorkshire way) and he tells me that they have already started to reduce salaries with matron salaries going down by 2 bands. And what if they do - there is not a lot we can do about it. It will be either put up or shut up and there's the door. Personally at this moment in time just grateful that I have a job" - Marie, Lancs