UK

Public sector morale at 'critical levels'

Salary advice slips

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has said the 1% pay cap on public sector workers will not be lifted.

The announcement comes despite several cabinet ministers, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, having called on Downing Street to rethink its position on the 1% cap on public sector pay.

The limit on pay rises affects dentists, nurses, doctors, police and military, as well as those that work for local government bodies.

Image copyright PA

The majority of public sector workers who contacted BBC News to voice their opinions wished to retain their anonymity, fearing that disclosure would hinder the relationship with their employers.

Steve had been a police officer for over 20 years and commented that he and his colleagues are losing faith in the government.

"I can say on good authority that the lack of staff and low morale is at critical levels," he explains.

"More staff are off sick with stress and every day we just want to get through the shift.

"Pay and pensions have been decimated and people are looking to leave in their droves."

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The pay cap also affects local council staff like Adam, from Cambridgeshire, who works for a District Council.

"My pay has effectively stayed the same for over six years.

"I haven't worked for the public sector for that long so my pension is of limited benefit, but better than nothing.

"I will have to work till I'm at least 69-years-of-age to pay off my mortgage."

Image copyright SPL

Another person frustrated with the pay cap is Bianca, a nurse working in the paediatric intensive care unit of a hospital.

"It's important to emphasise that I did not go into nursing for the money, but I did not go in to nursing to be unappreciated and underpaid either," she says.

"Giving up valuable time with my family and friends for £23,500 a year and experiencing what I can only describe as chronic fatigue, starts to seem like too big of a sacrifice.

"I have watched children die and I have held their parents' hands through it. I have held a child's airway open and given them breaths when they were suddenly unable to breathe themselves.

"The sacrifices that we as nurses make for minimal pay and appreciation are demoralising. It will pain me to leave but ultimately I believe it will be better for my better mental health.

The limit on pay rises also affects prison officers such as Nick who has worked in the industry for over 27 years.

"My pay has been frozen since 2010 with the exception of a one-off consolidated payment of £300 in 2014!

"The Prison Service has once again submitted a recommendation of 1% to the Prison Service Pay Review Body for staff on the new 'Fair and Sustainable' conditions.

"I will not sign up to the recommendation as it would be a pay cut as well as reducing my pensionable pay."

By Wais Bashir, UGC and Social News team

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