Page last updated at 09:53 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 10:53 UK

Public servants: Who earns most?

As teachers in England and Wales stage a strike over pay, the BBC News website examines how public sector workers' pay deals compare.


Teachers' pay is negotiated in three-year deals

Teachers starting off in classrooms in England and Wales earn 20,133. There is an extra 4,000 for those working in inner London.

The most experienced teachers in England and Wales can reach 34,281 outside London.

Headteachers can earn a great deal more. Salaries start at 39,525 and can reach nearly 100,000 outside London.

Teachers' pay is negotiated in three-year deals. They are due to receive a 2.45% pay increase in September 2008 and 2.3% rises in 2009 and 2010. An independent pay review body advises the government.


Police officers
Police officers said their pay award amounted to 1.9% not 2.5%

Police officers earn increasing amounts as their experience grows.

After initial training, all officers start earning 24,039 a year. There is also London weighting for those working in the capital, currently just over 2,000.

Experience is recognised by the pay system. An officer with 10 years behind them would be earning 33,800.

Promotion also brings financial rewards. A sergeant's starting salary is 33,810 which can rise to 37,998 and an inspector's starting salary is 43,320.

In 2007 police officers were recommended a pay increase of 2.5% (included in the above figures). But because the government refused to backdate it to September 2006, the Police Federation said this was only worth 1.9%.


Firefighters have gone on strike for increased pay

Qualified firefighters all receive 27,185. Unlike police constables, there is no extra money for experience.

Salaries will rise only with promotion.

A firefighter leading a crew earns just over 30,000, while a station officer can earn more than 38,000.

In July 2007 staff received a pay rise of 2.4% which was paid outright.


Nurses threatened industrial action over pay

In 2007 nurses were unhappy with their pay rise but ultimately agreed to accept it.

Nurses were recommended an increase of 2.5%. The government implemented this in full across Britain, except for those in England who had a staggered increase.

Despite threatening strike action, nurses in England accepted 1.5% and a further 1% six months later. This was an effective pay rise of 1.9%.

The average pay for a nurse is almost 25,000. However, the pay scale is very wide. Pay is decided on experience, specialist skills and the actual role.

A clinical support worker would start on 12,500. A hospital nurse would expect about 7,000 more, while a nurse consultant could earn 90,000.

Strike disrupting 8,000 schools
24 Apr 08 |  Education
Schools disrupted by strike day
23 Apr 08 |  Education
Q&A: Police pay dispute
12 Dec 07 |  UK

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