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Public sector workers are asking for a fair pay rise, not a windfall

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David Chrimes is a Crown Advocate employed by the Crown Prosecution Service. He writes about why, after a seven-year squeeze, public sector workers deserve a pay rise.

For us, this isn’t about pitting public sector against private sector. It’s simply about securing fair pay, which rewards our dedication, skill and professionalism.

Since 2010, we have seen our pay cut in real terms, while our pension and national insurance contributions soar. At the same time, our department shed a third of its staff. Absence due to stress is at its highest level on record.

We are looking for pay justice, not a windfall.

My colleagues and I help to protect communities by prosecuting those responsible for terrorist attacks, including at the Manchester Arena and London Bridge.

We are also working on Hillsborough, dealing with the increased number of child sexual abuse cases that have followed the Jimmy Savile revelations, and with growing numbers of hate crime cases following Brexit.

We do what we do because we are passionate about public service and believe in serving our communities.

FDA members are some of the most expert, skilled and professional workers in the country. While we don’t expect the salaries of premier league footballers, merchant bankers or hedge-fund managers, we do expect to be treated fairly.

Since austerity began in 2010, the biggest squeeze has been to public servants’ spending power.

We have less money to spend on buying the goods and services that will get our economy moving again, generating more and better-paid jobs. The 1% public sector cap stunts economic growth while unfairly penalising those providing public services.

When inflation was running at around 1%, public sector workers reluctantly accepted 1% pay increases. But as inflation approaches 3%, anger is building.

We stand side-by-side with our colleague firefighters, nurses and paramedics. But we must not allow the Government to divide and conquer by increasing pay for those who get positive media coverage, while the rest of us are sacrificed for spin, votes and positive publicity.

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