More than 26% of region’s public sector workers regularly work more than eight unpaid hours a week – among the highest in the country
New research by GMB, the union for public sector staff, shows that 150,000 public sector workers in Yorkshire and Humberside regularly work unpaid overtime worth £830 million a year.
The study, which is based on the latest official statistics, found that more than 26 per cent public sector staff in the region regularly work an average of eight hours unpaid hours a week.
If public sector workers in Yorkshire were paid for these hours, they would be owed more than £5,400 on average - equivalent to a 24 per cent pay rise.
And almost 30,000 public sector workers in the Yorkshire regularly work more than 15 hours a week for free.
Public sector workers are almost twice as likely to work unpaid overtime than their private sector counterparts.
GMB warns public sector staff were working ‘dangerous’ levels of extra hours.
Midwives and social workers were two of the hardest hit public sector occupations, with almost four in ten typically putting in unpaid hours.
A quarter of people in school support staff roles, such as teaching assistants and school secretaries, also regularly worked unpaid.
Neil Derrick, GMB Regional Secretary, said:
“Philip Hammond says that public sector workers are ‘overpaid’ but these shocking new figures show just how out of touch he is.
“Public sector workers are the backbone of Yorkshire – working above and beyond their contracted hours because they are committed to jobs they love.
“Yet the Government rewards their dedication with crippling real-terms pay cuts.
“Ministers think they can push staff indefinitely, but low pay, unmanageable workloads and stress are pushing many of our members to the limit.
“Unpaid hours mean that thousands across Yorkshire are effectively earning below the minimum wage, especially in the care sector.
“The reality is that public services in our region are held together by the devotion of overworked and underappreciated employees, who are effectively handing the Government £850 million worth of their labour for free.
“It’s frankly patronising and ill-informed to dismiss calls for wages increases when millions of salaries would rise by a quarter if payslips genuinely reflected all hours worked.
“Enough is enough - it’s time to tackle ever rising workloads and give our public sector workers the real pay rises they desperately need and deserve.”