TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, has taken the unprecedented step of writing to public sector pay review bodies, calling on them to recognise and reward the efforts of key workers who kept the nation going through the pandemic.

It is the first time a TUC general secretary has appealed directly to pay review bodies. She has taken this step because of the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic – and because of the debt the UK owes its key workers.

The letters says that a significant pay rise for public sector workers is “fair, affordable and necessary”. And it warns that holding back the living standards of public sector will hit economic recovery.

The letter states:

“The pandemic has demonstrated that the safety and security of society relies on strong and resilient public services – and that means public services that are properly staffed. The evidence tells us pay is critical to retention and recruitment in our public sector, but also to restoring demand and supporting our economic recovery.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Key workers have kept the country going through the coronavirus pandemic. They have earned a significant boost to their pay – and the UK can afford it.

“We owe key workers a huge debt. Any further cut to their standard of living risks a staff exodus from essential services. This would be a disaster for our nation.

“Boosting key worker pay helps everyone. It will put more money in the pockets of working families. And their spending supports jobs in local businesses and high streets.

“It’s time to guarantee all key workers in England and across the UK a pay rise that matches and exceeds what’s on offer from the Scottish government.”


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