I am delighted this week to hear the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announce that almost 900,000 public sector workers are to get an above-inflation pay rise, including doctors and teachers. That will benefit many hardworking public servants here in Cheltenham, who have made such a vital contribution in recent months.
By adopting the recommendations of the independent pay bodies, Cheltenham teachers will now receive an above inflation pay rise of 3.1 per cent. That’s a £1,250 increase for the average classroom teacher.
Teachers are just one group amongst 900,000 public sector who will see above-inflation pay rises for the third year in the row – reflecting their dedication, hard work and contribution to our country.
Doctors and dentists will receive a pay rise of 2.8 per cent, and Gloucestershire police officers will receive a pay rise of 2.5 per cent. Police constables will earn up to £1,002 more this year. Meanwhile, the Armed Forces will receive a 2 per cent pay rise. This comes as 16,340 new recruits have joined the regulars over the last year. Since 2017, the Armed Forced have benefited from increases to pay of 7 per cent.
Some have asked why nurses are not included, particularly given their dedication over recent months battling COVID-19 in Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal. It’s because nurses negotiated a separate three-year deal in 2018. Under that Agenda for Change pay deal, the starting salary for a new qualified nurse has increased by over 12 per cent since 2017-18.
This pay rise comes as we prepare to strengthen further our public services in Cheltenham, by welcoming another secondary school, Leckhampton High. The £20m+ new school will help to meet the pent up demand for pupil places. With this settlement schools will be able to recruit and retain the best teachers to nurture and train the next generation.