Tireless emergency workers are earning up to £3,300 a year less than they did only five years ago, according to shocking new research by the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
TUC’s research, which looks at those working in hospitals and emergency services during Christmas, found that many emergency workers have seen their real wages dramatically reduced since 2011.
According to the research, nurses’ annual pay is down £2,600, midwives’ pay is down £3,300, police officers’ pay is down £1,300, ambulance drivers’ pay is down £2,200, and firefighters’ are taking home £3,200 less than five years ago.
The analysis uses the government’s preferred CPI measure of inflation, which does not take into account increased housing costs for workers.
Rather than being at home with their families, many emergency workers will find themselves having to work over the Christmas period. TUC estimates that a whopping 900,000 public sector workers will be in work on Christmas day.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady says the “Scrooge-like” public sector pay cap has caused annual salaries for emergency workers to fall sharply since 2011.
Frances O’Grady said: “For most of us, Christmas is a well-earned break from the daily grind. But nearly a million people will be working on Christmas Day this year.
“Many of those keeping our streets safe and providing emergency care have seen their pay fall sharply over the past five years.
“Ministers should show some seasonal goodwill and end the real-terms pay cuts. The government’s Scrooge-like public sector pay cap has to go, to ensure that wages at least keep up with prices.”
Commenting on TUC’s analysis, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Every year emergency service workers put their lives on hold so the rest of us can enjoy the festive season.
“We know they are there for us should we need them, often doing unimaginably difficult jobs.
“Yet they continue to be paid well below their worth by a government that sees the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
“A decent pay rise this year would be a great Christmas present for selfless staff who ministers have taken for granted for far too long.”
The news comes less than two weeks after it was revealed MP’s are set to receive a 1.4% rise to their wage packets. This is on top of a 10% rise last year, which saw MPs salaries soar by a shocking 10% – from £67,000 to more than £74,000.
Dave Prentis has previously said MPs “should feel uncomfortable” about accepting the pay rise, particularly at a time when public sector workers, including emergency workers, have seen their pay rises capped at just 1% – a real-terms cut.
Earlier this month, Mr Prentis told MailOnline: “MPs should feel uncomfortable that their pay rise is higher than that awarded to nurses, teaching assistants and care workers this year.
“Millions of families are experiencing real financial hardship because the Government has held down or frozen their pay for years. If there is to be a limit on public sector pay it should apply to everyone.
“It’s time ministers lifted the pay cap and gave all public service employees a decent wage rise.”
MP’s pay is decided by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), but some members of parliament have pledged not to pocket the pay rise and instead donate the extra money to charities.
This article was last edited at 02:29 GMT on 23 December 2016.