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BASW response to public pay freeze reports

All public sector workers should be recognised for their collective effort in next week’s Spending Review

Today’s reports suggesting a public sector pay freeze in next week’s Spending Review will comes as a disappointing blow for frontline staff, including social workers, who have been toiling to deliver vital services as the pandemic rages on.

Recent announcements of ambitious long-term spending plans for other sectors, such as in defence, contrasts sharply with today’s news, if accurate.

It is vital in next week’s Spending Review that the government recognises the commitment and sacrifice – at times with their lives – all public sector workers have made in a collective attempt to keep delivering vital services, while preventing more deaths in communities across the UK. 

It must be remembered that the public sector has been at the sharp end of picking up the pieces from a decade of austerity, which the PM promised last year he would end.

Any pay freeze, or real time cuts, will risk the stability of public services by not recognising their role in sustaining society during the pandemic, and further risks undermining the mammoth task of recovering and building back afterwards.

The government is right in ensuring doctors, nurses and healthcare staff are recognised and rewarded for their vital efforts in combating Covid-19 infections, but all public sector workers deserve the same acknowledgment.