Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Threat of industrial action looms over nurse pay row


The threat of industrial action by health workers over pay is set to come closer this week amid public support for higher wages in the NHS.

Delegates at Unison’s annual health conference in Brighton on Tuesday will debate the government’s decision to reject a 1% pay deal for all staff, in spite of recommendations from the NHS review body.

“It is time the government gave nurses and health workers a fair deal”

Christina McAnea

Under the imposed deal staff eligible for an incremental rise will receive no separate cost of living pay rise while those staff at the top of their pay band will receive temporary, non-consolidated 1% pay rises for two years.

As reported by Nursing Times on 3 April, the conference will debate calls for a campaign of industrial action in protest at the decision.

The union’s healthcare executive will seek an emergency vote at the conference to obtain permission to ballot its 450,000 NHS members over potential industrial action.

Meanwhile, ahead of the vote, Unison today published an opinion poll of over 2,000 members of the public, which showed support for nurses to be paid £26,120 as a basic annual starting salary, around £5,000 more than they currently get.

Well over half of those surveyed said nurses should get more than they are currently paid.


Unison’s head of health, Christina McAnea, said: “The poll shows how out of step the government is with public opinion. It is clear the public values the work of nurses more than the government.

“Their provocative pay offer denies a pay rise to a majority of NHS workers and has created a lot of anger among NHS staff,” she said.

“Pay in the NHS has essentially been cut by at least 10% since the start of the coalition. It is time the government gave nurses and health workers a fair deal.”



Readers' comments (2)

  • Nurses and midwives 0% but MPs award themselves 11%. It sums up the value placed on the work we do.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I hope that come the next general election, nurses including their friends and families remember we have the power to remove this government with our vote.
    So they may enjoy THEIR 11% pay rise now, but it will come at a cost.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.