It has been announced that nearly 900,000 public sector workers are set to receive a pay rise as recognition for their “vital contribution” during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Government ministers have confirmed that the Armed Forces, teachers, Police Officers, the National Crime Agency, Prison Officers, doctors and dentists, the Judiciary, senior civil servants and senior military personnel, are among those that will receive a rise.
Teachers and doctors will see the largest rise in pay, at 3.1% and 2.8%, respectively.
This year’s pay awards are said to reflect the enormous effort made by those in the public sector in responding to the unprecedented challenges for the country during the COVID-19 outbreak.
HM Treasury said the money for the pay increases of up to 3.1% would come from existing departmental budgets.
Not all settlements are set to be UK-wide.
Teachers in England, and dentists and doctors across the UK, will see the largest increases at 3.1% and 2.8% respectively.
Police, prison officers and National Crime Agency staff in England and Wales will be given a 2.5% rise in pay, while members of the armed forces across the UK will get 2%.
Members of the judiciary and senior civil servants across the UK will also see their pay topped up by 2%.
A full break-down of the agreed awards are as follows:
Nurses are not included as this announcement follows the settlement for more than one million NHS workers who continue to benefit from the three-year Agenda For Change pay deal agreed in 2018.
Under this deal, the starting pay for a newly-qualified nurse has increased by over 12% since 2017/18.
Speaking on the confirmation of the public sector pay rise, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “These past months have underlined what we always knew – that our public sector workers make a vital contribution to our country and that we can rely on them when we need them.”
“It’s right therefore that we follow the recommendations of the independent pay bodies with this set of real-terms pay rises.”
According to the official statement released via the gov.uk website, each award is recommended by independent pay review bodies, and the government has accepted the “headline recommended rise” for each workforce this year.
For more information and guidance amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, do refer to official sources via gov.uk/coronavirus.
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away free music lessons
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away a host of free music lessons next month in a bid to inspire people to learn a new instrument, or pick up an old one.
The store is giving new and returning musicians a chance to receive a 10–15-minute free music taster session as part of its Music for All Learn to Play ’22 event.
Taking place across 8 and 9 October between 10am-5pm (8 October) and 1130am-30pm (9 October),short taster music lessons will allow all ages and abilities to have a musical experience that could turn into a lifetime of enjoyment, or even a new career.
Speaking on the free music lesson initiative, Emma from Forsyths said: “The past two years have shown how important music is to all our lives and how it can bring people together even in the most difficult of circumstances.
“We aim to help as many people as possible understand the unique joys and benefits of learning an instrument (or taking part in a choir).
“Anyone interested in learning to play an instrument or looking to pick it up again, should come and join us for this two-day celebration of music making.
“We’re delighted to be part of Music for All’s Learn to Play ’22 event, and we can’t wait to get started.”
OBE Jools Holland, Patron of Music for All, said: “Making music is very important to me. It’s my work, my pleasure, my friend, companion and therapist.
The charity Music for All believes passionately in the unique power of music to change lives and that is why it runs Learn to Play.
Music for All believes everyone should have equal access to music making.
The charity supports disadvantaged music makers by providing cash grants for tuition and instruments and by donating instruments directly.
Celebrated author Dame Hilary Mantel has died ‘suddenly yet peacefully’ aged 70
Dame Hilary Mantel has died aged 70.
The unexpected passing of the critically-acclaimed author whose celebrated career spans nearly five decades has just been announced by her agents 4th Estate Books and her publishing team at HarperCollins in two separate statements released this morning – who confirmed that she died “suddenly yet peacefully”.
The Glossop-born writer was famed for historical fiction work, and was most-known for being the author of the beloved Wolf Hall trilogy.
The statement by her agents confirming her passing reads: “We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel, and our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald.
“This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”
Mantel’s publishers HarperCollins called her “one of the greatest English novelists of this century”.
The company’s statement reads: “It is with great sadness that AM Heath and HarperCollins announce that bestselling author Dame Hilary Mantel DBE died suddenly yet peacefully yesterday, surrounded by close family and friends, aged 70.
“Hilary Mantel was one of the greatest English novelists of this century and her beloved works are considered modern classics.
Mantel has twice been awarded the Booker Prize, the first time for the 2009 novel Wolf Hall, a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII, and secondly for the 2012 novel Bring Up the Bodies, the second instalment of the Cromwell trilogy.
She was the first woman, and fourth person, to receive the award twice.