The government has announced that NHS staff in England will receive a consolidated pay increase of 1% from 1 April. The Welsh and Scottish governments have also awarded 1% while continuing to pay the living wage as a minimum. In Scotland, there is also a £400 minimum pay rise for staff earning less than £22,000. There is no response to the pay recommendation yet in Northern Ireland.
This is yet another below-inflation pay award and the NHS can’t go on like this. It simply isn’t right for NHS pay to be held back while the cost of living keeps rising.
We’re not stopping the fight for a better deal for NHS staff. NHS staff give 100% and they deserve to get more than 1% on pay. We remain opposed to the pay cap and we will continue our efforts to make sure you are properly rewarded for the vital work you do.
But pay is about more than this 1% increase. We know important unsocial hours payments are to many NHS staff which is why these payments are not up for discussion – now or in the future. Should the government ever decide to threaten these payments UNISON will stand firm to defend them.
We also know that employers have been chipping away at other terms and conditions, so we know we need to take practical steps in local workplaces too.
We are working on plans to make sure you NHS staff get everything they are due, from fair job banding to correct holiday pay. We think this is the most effective way of making a difference to earnings quickly and we have started consulting branches on our plans.
You can contact your branch to find out more. If you do not know who to contact in your branch you can use our online branch finder. Alternatively you can call UNISONdirect on 0800 0 857 857.
The NHS is facing difficult challenges – every day NHS staff are responding to these challenges, and providing the very best of care and support to patients and their families
Healthcare staff have now sustained six years of pay restraint at great cost to their living standards, and causing great damage to their morale.
Pay restraint has resulted in the equivalent annual pay cuts of £2,288 for a cleaner, £2,818 for a ward administrator, £4,846 for a nurse and £6,134 for a midwife.
The government has a choice.
It can choose to restore the independence of the well-regarded Pay Review Body system to make the pay recommendations it believes are needed to maintain recruitment and retention at the levels the service needs.
Or it can allow the current, unsustainable staffing situation to spiral out of control.
UNISON is serious about fair pay for NHS staff
Our pay campaign for the coming year includes:
- continuing to lead the fight for a fairer deal for all NHS staff;
- seeking rapid progress in talks to renew the Agenda for Change pay structure;
- campaigning against low pay and for the living wage to be applied across the UK;
- remaining vigilant against the threat to unsocial hours payments.