Pay rises for nurses and teachers

Dear John

I am writing to you regarding today’s announcement of the public sector pay awards for 2020-21.

Today, we are accepting the recommendations of the independent pay review bodies and announcing a significant, real terms pay increase between 2-3% for around 900,000 public sector workers across seven workforces, around 20% of total public sector workforce. For the majority, this is the third inflation busting pay rise in a row following lifting of the public sector pay cap at the end of 2017/18.

Our public sector workers deserve to be recognised for their hard work as it is their commitment and dedication that ensures our essential public services continue to be delivered to those that need it, even during challenging and uncertain times.

These awards cover the Armed Forces, Teachers, Police Officers, the National Crime Agency, Prison Officers, Doctors and Dentists, the judiciary, senior civil servants and senior military personnel. The Devolved Administrations are responsible for the salaries of public sector workers in line with devolved areas of responsibility, including Teachers and NHS workers.

More than one million NHS workers continue to benefit from the three-year Agenda for Change pay deal, under which the starting salary for a newly qualified nurse has increased by over 12% since 2017/18.

This deal delivers a real terms pay rise for all nurses this year, and averages 4.4% for those not already at the top of their pay scale. The Agenda for Change pay deal has also increased the lowest starting salary within the NHS by over 16%. The Government has also agreed a pay deal that provides junior doctors with a minimum 8.2% pay rise over four years. 2

Social care is rightly an area of intensive interest from Members. Pay for social care workers is set independently of central government and is outside the scope of Tuesday’s announcement. The vast majority of care workers are employed by private sector providers who ultimately set their pay. Local Authorities work with care providers to determine a fair rate of pay based on local market conditions. In April this year, the Government increased the National Living Wage by 6.2% to £8.72 an hour, benefiting an estimated 2.4 million people, including social care workers. We have also delivered a Budget this year that cut the cost of living for hard working people, for example by giving a typical employee around £104 next year by cutting National Insurance.

We are conscious that public sector pay awards must deliver value for money for the taxpayer. The coronavirus is having a very significant impact on the economy, labour market and the fiscal position. In May 2020, public sector pay was up by 3.7% on the year before, compared to a fall of 1.2% in the private sector. Public sector pay awards announced today will be significantly more than the average in the private sector, where the OBR’s central scenario assumes a fall in average earnings. Therefore, for reasons of fairness, we must ensure that across this year and the spending review period, public sector pay levels retain parity with the private sector.

I enclose the table below setting out the breakdown of today’s announcements. Individual Secretaries of State lead this process for their relevant workforces and will lay Written Ministerial Statements setting out further details of each award.

Best wishes,


Workforce Number Agreed award  
School Teachers 450,000 3.1%
Doctors & Dentists 69,000 2.8%
Police Officers 124,000 2.5%
National Crime Agency 4,800 2.5%
Armed Forces 194,000 2%
Prison Officers 29,000 2.5%
Judiciary 5,000 2%
Senior Civil Servants 5,000 2%
Senior Military Minimal 2%


  1. Kevin Caudwell
    July 22, 2020

    It is really good that I hear scientists are yet to find one single case of a teacher being infected by a pupil in the whole world. Also, it is good that the Covid rates of teachers are much lower than most other occupations according to the ONS figures that Mr Hancock misquoted.

    But given this good news, I’m not sure why teachers are in this list to be honest.
    There’s a lot of them too.

  2. John McDonald
    July 22, 2020

    Dear Sir John perhaps you could also give the pay rises and expenses awarded to themselves by MP’s over the same time scale

    reply MPs do not fix their own pay

    1. Ian
      July 23, 2020

      Well this is indeed a smack in the face to all those That are self employed. Why the teachers get more I do not know.
      Being employed by the government is a very safe ticket, no risk what so ever a magic carpet ride, civil servants, given they are all Remainers and have done there best to drag out Brexit .
      The breaks have been on and still are on in that regard, they are a force against us leaving, it is a dissgrace which is tolerated by the Government, just like open boarders, a come one come all, this Government is a smack in the mouth to the majority in this Country

    2. John McDonald
      July 23, 2020

      Dear Sir John – A political answer 🙂
      Perhaps should have just asked-Please supply a table of pay rises and expenses given to MP’s over the same period. But I will look up on Google how MP’s and the Lord’s are awarded their pay and expenses.
      PS. why did we have a vote on Brexit but not on the import of HK ?
      Kind regards,

  3. DavidJ
    July 22, 2020

    All very well rewarding public sector workers but what about those of us who work in the private sector and will somehow have to pay for it, especially when many might be facing loss of their jobs?
    At the very least this is bad timing when we don’t know the eventual outcome of the lockdown.

  4. czerwonadupa
    July 22, 2020

    It seems what the electorate thought they were voting for is not what Johnson & his government had in mind to deliver.

    1. DOMINIC
      July 23, 2020

      Yes, it’s Tory deceit. You take our vote and then embrace socialism and then embrace the Stonewall, BLM race, gender and sexuality agenda

      How do Tory MPs even look at themselves in the mirror

  5. Narrow Shoulders
    July 22, 2020

    I find the timing of this rather odd. Was there a clamour for rises across the public sector while the private sector is being decimated?

    Job security must surely be worth a few percent per annum as must the reduced commute of working from home while services were delivered below expected levels.

    July 23, 2020

    You know this stinks of Tory capitulation to the political monster that is the unionised public sector,.

    The public sector It is the one sector of the UK that despises the Tories which may explain why McCluskey and co have you over a barrel. So instead of confronting this parasitism and imposing reform you abuse the taxpayer to finance your party’s utter gutlessness

    I hope your bankrupt the nation’s Exchequer so that then you will have no excuse NOT to impose reform on this bottomless pit of unionised leeching

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