Pay is the main reason public sector workers are quitting their jobs, Trades Union Congress (TUC) research carried out by Opinium has found.
Overall, almost two-fifths (38%) of polled employees have started, or are actively considering, taking steps to leave their positions to get a job outside the profession.
More than a third (36%) of those wanting to leave work blamed low wages, while 27% felt undervalued. A poor work-life balance and a lack of career progression were both cited as factors by 23% of respondents.
Revealing the survey results, the TUC warned that there will be “mass exodus” of key workers in the public sector unless current wage disputes are resolved and the government provides sustainable funding.
TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “Our amazing key workers in the public sector got this country through the pandemic. But many are now leaving the jobs they love because of pay cuts, brutal workloads and years of feeling undervalued.”
The research further showed that nearly half (46%) of respondents are more likely to quit in the next one to three years because of the government’s approach to pay, while 37% claim that the implications of the Strikes Bill has made them more likely to do so.
If the Bill is passed, workers who vote to strike can be made to work and sacked if they don’t do so.
The TUC is again calling on the government to start “proper” pay negotiations with all unions representing the public sector, and says unions will not rest until every public sector worker receives a fair pay increase.
Nowak added: “If the government does not resolve all the current pay disputes the recruitment and retention crisis crippling frontline services will only get worse.
“While it’s good that pay talks are now taking place with health unions, the same must also happen in education and the civil service.
“Divide and rule tactics are not going to wash. Unions won’t rest until every single public sector worker gets fair pay.”