Public services are facing a “mass exodus” of workers as increasing numbers quit their jobs over pay, according to a new report.
The TUC said a survey of 1,400 public sector workers found that one in three has already taken steps to leave their profession or are actively considering it.
The union organisation said its research suggested that around 1.8 million public sector workers are seriously thinking about quitting their jobs.
The TUC warned ministers that public services were facing a “mass exodus” of key workers unless they deliver “decent pay rises”.
Below inflation pay rises announced by the government in the summer have sparked a serious of strike ballots by health and education unions.
The TUC said key workers across the NHS face another year of “pay misery” after more than a decade of having their wages held down by successive Conservative governments.
The TUC says that this year’s pay awards come on top of a “brutal” decade of pay cuts for key workers in the public sector.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Key workers in the public sector helped get the country through the pandemic, but many are now at breaking point because of a toxic mix of low pay, unsustainable workloads and a serious lack of recognition.
“After years of brutal pay cuts, nurses, teachers, refuse workers and millions of other public servants have seen their living standards decimated – and now face more pay misery.
“It is little wonder morale is through the floor and many key workers are considering leaving their jobs for good.
“If there is large-scale public sector strike action over the months ahead, the government only has itself to blame.
“They have chosen to hold down public servants’ pay while giving bankers unlimited bonuses.
“Ministers must change course. Without decent pay rises for key workers in the public sector, we face a mass exodus of staff.
“As the country teeters on the brink of recession, the last thing we need is working people cutting back on spending even more.
“More money in the pockets of working people means more spend on our high streets.
“It’s time to give our key workers in the public sector the decent pay rise they are owed.”