Why it’s time to stop punishing the people running vital public services

Public servants like David Chrimes – a Crown Advocate employed by the Crown Prosecution Service – work every day to keep the public safe.
As the FDA launches its new campaign calling for a fair and fully-funded pay rise right across the public sector, David writes about the vital work his colleagues do – and why it's time for pay justice.


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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. 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.

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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 artificial restrictions on public sector pay stunt economic growth, while unfairly penalising those providing public services.

When inflation was running at around 1%, public sector workers reluctantly resigned themselves to capped 1% pay increases, but with inflation now at 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.
 
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.
 
We are looking for pay justice, not a windfall.


The FDA has launched ‘Public Services Need Fair Pay’, our campaign for a fair and fully-funded pay rise right across the public sector. Find out more - and work out how you’ve been hit by the public sector pay squeeze - here