Police officers thousands of pounds worse off than a decade ago, TUC finds

Police officers working on Christmas Day will be thousands of pounds worse off than they were a decade ago as a result of their wages failing to keep pace with the cost of living, analysis by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has shown.

Dec 23, 2021
By Tony Thompson
Frances O'Grady

For those at constable and sergeant rank the TUC found that their inflation-adjusted pay is £5,595 lower than it would have been in 2010. Nurses and local authority care workers have also suffered effective pay cuts during the past 11 years, but the reduction for police officers is significantly higher.

The TUC research released today (December 23) compared wages in 2010 and 2021, adjusting for inflation (using the Consumer Price Index) to give an effective comparison of the real-terms difference between earnings over the past decade.

Nurses have seen their wages fall by £2,715 while local authority care workers have had a cut of £1,661, the report found.

Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, said: “Many of the key workers who are bracing themselves for another surge of Covid cases are earning less in real terms than they were a decade ago. That is not right.

“While many of us are tucking into the turkey, thousands of key workers will be hard at work on the front line, many of them dealing with staff shortages as a result of the Omicron variant. But their pay awards are falling way short of what they should be, especially in a cost-of-living crisis.

“The pandemic must be a turning point; 2022 should be the year that the government finally gets wages rising across the UK. They can start by giving our public service workers a proper pay rise, and by raising the minimum wage to £10 an hour.”

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