Nearly 900,000 public workers in Britain, including teachers, doctors and security forces, will receive raises in recognition of the “vital contribution” they have made during the coronavirus pandemic, Britain’s finance ministry announced Tuesday.
Salaries for teachers in England will increase 3.1 percent, and dentists across Britain will get raises of 2.8 percent. The salaries of police and military forces, along with members of the judiciary and other civil servants, will also increase from 2 to 2.5 percent. But nurses and other National Health Service staff will not be included in the deal because they negotiated a three-year pay increase in 2018.
“These past months have underlined what we always knew — that our public sector workers make a vital contribution to our country and that we can rely on them when we need them,” Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the Exchequer, said in a statement.
The announcement was welcomed as deserved news for thousands of workers who have battled the pandemic, including many in the revered National Health Service, but opposition politicians said the raises would not make up for a decade of austerity during which a Conservative government froze salaries or granted small increases.
“Many other public sector workers — including those working on the front line in social care — won’t get a pay rise out of this,” said Anneliese Dodds, the Labour Party’s economic minister, because they are paid by local governments that have not seen their budgets increase.
At least 300 health workers and caretakers for adults had died of the coronavirus as of late May, according to numbers provided by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Britain has been one of the worst-hit countries in the world, with more than 45,300 confirmed deaths and 295,000 cases.