By Lea Pachta

The golden era of public sector earnings is coming to an end in 2011 following the Chancellor’s 1% cap on salaries, yet new findings from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) annual Pay Survey reveals the majority of public sector workers (57%) still expect a pay rise that will be the same or higher than it was in 2009.

In the survey, conducted by YouGov of 2,500 employees, a similar number of private sector workers (60%) expect a higher or the same rise as last year. This is to be expected, however, with half (51%) — compared with 17% in the public sector — suffering a pay freeze this year and 7% – compared with 2% in the public sector — actually getting a pay cut.

Over the next 12 months, private sector workers predict that their wages will increase by 3%, while public sector forecast them to go up by 2%. However, while the number of private sector workers affected by pay freezes is expected to tumble, 27% still believe that their pay will not go up in 2010. By contrast, 20% of public sector workers don’t think that they’ll see a pay increase in 2010.

Charles Cotton, CIPD reward adviser, says: “While most private sector workers predict that they will get a pay rise next year, over one in four do not think that this will be the case, focused in hard hit economic sectors such as construction and manufacturing. Public sector workers are clearly not sensing that the pay cloud storms are gathering. It looks like 2010 will prove to be the last hurrah of this gilded age”.

The survey also asked respondents to predict whether they would receive a bonus in 2010. Of the three in 10 employees (29%) that work for firms that have a cash bonus (39% in the private sector and 11% in the public sector):

– A quarter (26%) don’t think that they’ll get a bonus in 2010

– A similar number (25%) believe that they’ll get the same sized bonus as in 2009

– One-fifth (18%) predict that they’ll get a lower bonus than in 2009

– Just over a fifth (22%) predict that the bonus will be larger than in 2009

Cotton continues: “Given that just over a third (34%) of workers did not get a bonus in 2009, it’s not surprising that a lower percentage (26%) predict this will happen in 2010. This indicates that workers believe that the economy will improve in 2010 and hopeful their employer will be able to share the success with them.”

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