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Pay deal unveiled for NHS workers

Pay deal unveiled for NHS workers

Nurses, paramedics, porters and cleaners are among 1.3 million NHS staff being offered a pay rise of at least 6.5% over the next three years. The government and union leaders have agreed the deal and if staff vote to accept by the summer, the rise – which will cost £4.2bn in total - will be backdated to April.

Immediate rise for lowest paid staff

For some of the lowest paid workers, the deal could see their wages increase by as much as 29%, because they are not at the top of their pay bands.

The proposed agreement means every NHS worker in England is to be paid at least £17,460 from April 1 (£8.93 per hour), an immediate pay rise of over £2,000 for more than 100,000 personnel.

Elsewhere, a band 5 nurse with one year’s experience would see basic pay increase over the three years by 22% (£4,842) to around £27,400, with a 16% (£3,819) for a Band 5 nurse with two years’ experience and 6.5% (£1,869) for nurses at the top of the pay band. However, the deal includes a commitment to reduce rates of sickness absence in the NHS.

NHS staff urged to accept the pay offer

The deal still has to be ratified by the NHS Staff Council, which represents 14 unions, but NHS employers and the unions are urging members to accept the offer.

They also hope the agreement will turn the tide on the NHS staffing crisis by helping attract new recruits and retain experienced staff. UNISON head of health and lead pay negotiator for the NHS unions Sara Gorton said the agreement means an end to the 1% pay cap. “It won’t solve every problem in the NHS but would go a long way towards making dedicated health staff feel more valued, lift flagging morale, and help turn the tide on employers’ staffing problems,” she said. Losing specialists like those in sonography jobs and radiography jobs doesn’t leave the NHS short of staff, it wastes the resources spent training those professionals in the first place!

NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer said the deal will help make non-medical roles more attractive for people considering a career in the NHS.

The RCN is urging members to back the deal during a consultation period, from April 23-June 5, saying it is the best deal in eight years. RCN Trade Union Committee chair Lors Allford said: “Failure to accept it will put us back at square one, and at risk of returning to the 1% pay rises we’ve fought so hard to overturn.”

Treasury to fund the deal

The deal is for staff working in NHS England only but provides funding for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to replicate the pay framework if employers, government and trade unions agree to it.

The rise will be fully funded by the Treasury rather than coming out of NHS budgets.

Earlier reports that workers would have to give up a day's holiday in return for bigger rises was headed off by unions. However, automatic increments worth 3-4% given on top of the annual pay award for some staff, may now fall under the spotlight.
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