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NHS staff given 5% pay offer

NHS staff given 5% pay offer
By Jess Hacker
17 March 2023

The Government has offered NHS staff – including nurses and ambulance workers – in England a 5% pay rise from April.

This pay increase for Agenda for Change staff would come on top of a one-off top-up to last year’s pay award worth between at least £1,655 and £3,789.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Unison and GMB have each recommended that their members accept the new offer, which would bring an end to the pay dispute.

Unite the Union has said it will not recommend the offer to its members, but will consult its members.

It comes after three weeks of negotiations, and three months of strike action. The pay deal does not cover junior doctors, who took to the picket line for three days this week.

The Government has said that as a result of this package a newly qualified nurse would see their salary go up by more than £2,750 over two years from 2021/22 to 2023/24.

The fourteen unions represented at the talks covered nurses, ambulance staff, physiotherapists, midwives, and support staff including cleaners and porters.

Pat Cullen, RCN general secretary and chief executive, said: ‘The government was forced into these negotiations and to reopen the pay award as a result of the historic pressure from nursing staff. Members took the hardest of decisions to go on strike and I believe they have been vindicated today.’

She added: ‘As well as the additional money now, we have made real progress with the government on safe staffing measures, a new pay structure for nursing, support for newly qualified staff and pensions too.

‘It is not a panacea, but it is real tangible progress and the RCN’s member leaders are asking fellow nursing staff to support what our negotiations have secured.’

And UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: ‘It’s a shame it took so long to get here. Health workers had to take many days of strike action, and thousands more had to threaten to join them, to get their unions into the room and proper talks underway.’

She added: ‘In the coming days, health workers will have the chance to look at the full detail of what’s on offer and decide whether that’s enough to end the dispute. While that process takes place any planned industrial action will be paused.’

Health secretary Steve Barclay said: ‘This offer will give nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists and other non-medical staff a fair pay rise while protecting our commitment to halve inflation.

‘We have engaged in constructive and meaningful discussions with unions and NHS Employers and I look forward to continuing our work together to make the NHS a better place to work.’

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