• Public Sector Pay Increase and Mental Health Support

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    05 August 2019

    The Government has announced that almost a million public sector workers will get above inflation pay rises for the second year in a row including teachers, soldiers, police officers, prison officers and doctors. The average classroom teacher will see a 2.75% pay increase worth £1,000, a Corporal on average wages will see a 2.9% raise worth £995, while the starting salary for an officer will rise by £769. Police Constables will see a 2.5% average pay increase, earning up to £978 more this year, and prison officers will get at least a 2.2% rise this year, with many receiving 3%. Doctors and dentists will receive an increase of 2.5%, with hospital doctors seeing an average increase of £1,500. Nurses are receiving a pay increase of 6.5% over three years, as part of a deal agreed in 2018. It is vital that we look after our public sector workers and I will be supporting our new Prime Minister to get a Brexit deal through the House of Commons that protects our economy, protects jobs and allows us to strike new trade deals around the world. Our economy continues to confound expectations (wages are now growing at the fastest pace for 11 years in cash terms and we have the lowest unemployment rate for 45 years) and if we can maintain growth after we leave the EU there is no reason we can’t continue to increase investment in our public services and increase the pay of our valued public sector workers.

    Central Devon will be among the second wave of areas to benefit from mental health support teams specifically for children and young people. The teams will work with schools and colleges to provide a link with young people’s mental health services, ensuring more pupils get the support they need, when they need it. Schools and colleges in Central Devon will also get priority access next year to mental health training. The announcement is backed by nearly £10 million in funding and will be provided through workshops which bring school and college staff together with NHS professionals. It is part of the Government’s wider programme to support young people’s mental health, which includes an additional £1.4 billion investment and the introduction of compulsory health education lessons from 2020. With half of all lifetime cases of mental health disorders beginning by the age of 14, providing more support earlier in someone’s life could have a major impact on their health for decades to come.

    Last week I was delighted to go in to bat for Black Tor Brewery – a local business based in Christow within Dartmoor National Park. The food and drinks industry is a major employer within Central Devon and I was very pleased to help promote a family-run, independent brewery by sponsoring one of their ales as a weekly guest ale for the Strangers’ Bar in the House of Commons.

    For more from Mel follow him on twitter @MelJStride or visit