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Trade unions members approve NHS pay deal

Trade unions members approve NHS pay deal
By Valeria Fiore Journalist intern
8 June 2018

Union members accepted a three year NHS pay deal applying to Agenda for Change staff, it has been announced.

It comes after 14 NHS unions consulted their members on the pay deal, which was collectively endorsed today.

Lower-paid NHS staff will immediately receive a £2,000 increase that will bring them above the living wage, trade union UNISON confirmed.

The pay deal, which has been accepted by 84% of UNISON’s voters, involves pay increases of 6.5% at the top of bands, with up to 29% for those in lower bands, as decided at the negotiations stage.

‘A relief to employers’

The Treasury pledged to find £4.2bn of new money ‘to ensure that these pay increases do not come at the cost of jobs or patient care,’ UNISON added.

Lead negotiator and UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: ‘The lifting of the damaging 1% cap on pay will come as a huge relief for all the employers who’ve struggled for so long to attract new recruits and hold onto experienced staff.

‘But this three-year pay deal must not be a one off. Health workers will want to know that ministers are committed to decent wage rises across the NHS for the long term, and that this isn’t just a quick fix.’

Health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt commented: ‘This is an incredibly well-deserved pay rise for staff who have never worked harder. I hope this will go some way to helping us recruit and retain more brilliant staff in our NHS.’

On top of committing to salary raises for the long term, NHS staff is also expecting the Government to pour more money into the NHS, with the announcement likely to be made as the NHS approaches its 70th anniversary.

Ms Gorton added: ‘We are meeting NHS employers at the end of June to formally agree the deal and will be working closely with them to ensure a speedy implementation so that members should see more money in their pay packets in July.’

Pay cap

A formal 1% pay cap on public sector pay rises was imposed by former chancellor George Osborne in 2015, scheduled to last until 2019. However, the Government stated late last year that it would be scrapping the pay cap.

Commenting on the acceptance of the pay deal, head of analysis at NHS Providers Phillippa Hentsch said: ‘NHS staff have borne the brunt of almost a decade of austerity through the squeeze on pay.

‘This deal should help trusts in their efforts to recruit and retain the staff they need. However it is also vital that the Government honours its commitment to fully fund the pay rise to all Agenda for Change staff.’

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