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Unions criticise NHS staff 1% pay rise

  • 75 Comments

A pay rise of just 1% for NHS staff will leave nurses “struggling”, unions claim.

The government announced yesterday that all NHS employees covered by the agenda for change framework will receive the 1% rise next month, bringin to an end a two year pay freeze.

The rise - less than half the current consumer price index inflation rate of 2.7% - means that staff are effectively having their pay cut following two years of pay freezes, unions said.

Peter Carter, general secretary of the RCN, said the increase would not “restore the 9% gap” caused by the two year public sector pay freeze.

He added: “There is no doubt that nurses and healthcare assistants are really struggling to keep their heads above water financially as their pay levels are failing to keep pace with inflation. The reality of increasing living costs mean we are seeing higher numbers of our members in debt and unable to meet mortgage payments.”

Christina McAnea, head of health at union Unison, said: “What kind of message does it send to health workers about the value this government places on their work? And what incentive is there for young people to join the NHS when they are so undervalued?

“Freezing and squeezing pay is crushing morale and heaping financial misery on more than a million NHS workers. At the same time, the NHS is going through a massive reorganisation and staff are dealing with job cuts, rationing and ever increasing patient numbers.

Meanwhile, GPs will receive a 1.3% “contract uplift” to cover their pay and costs of running their practices, less than the 2.29% recommended by the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body (DDRB).

Other salaried doctors will receive a 1% increase in line with other public sector workers.

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said that pay restraint was “essential” across the public sector and pointed out the majority of staff on agenda for change contracts could also receive annual performance-related pay increases averaging 3.5%.

NHS Employers, an organisation which represents health service employers, recommended to the pay review board that the public sector pay freeze should continue for a third year in a row.

The organisation said that the wage increase would put “unnecessary” financial pressure on the health service.

Chief executive Dean Royles said: “I am still deeply perplexed that the independent pay review bodies have recommended any increase at all.

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“We gave compelling evidence to the pay review bodies on pay levels, staff turnover and improvements in job satisfaction, arguing that a pay increase this year wasn’t necessary and would add additional cost pressures to NHS trusts in what we know will be an extremely challenging year.”

  • 75 Comments

Readers' comments (75)

  • there is a piece in the independent today about this

    apparantly NHS managers have said we carnt afford this 1% pay rise and the money would be better spent on hiring more nurses

    whata a load of crap, they would spend the money on firms like McKinsey etc so they could say "sack more nurses"

    how many nurses have been downbanded by these incompetent managers, how many have been sacked

    they could not run a bath between them let alaone a hospital too busy supping champers on thier yachts..idiots

    how about they pay for the 1% rise out of thier hugely inflated salaries...NO thought not!!!

    get down on the wards and do some real work!!

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  • Chief executive Dean Royles said: “I am still deeply perplexed that the independent pay review bodies have recommended any increase at all.

    “We gave compelling evidence to the pay review bodies on pay levels, staff turnover and improvements in job satisfaction, arguing that a pay increase this year wasn’t necessary " - What PLANET is this man on??

    I'm I being thick here or is he saying that we are all having a whale of a time, wards are well staffed etc, and can afford to pay all our ever escalating bills, and simply don't warrant a pay increase! We have all got our own additional cost pressures.

    Unbelievable.

    Agree with above.

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  • Most full time ward based Band 5 nurses receiving increments for working nights and weekends will have their 1% pay rise taken by the 1% increased pension contribution. So it looks as if I break even. All I have to worry about is inflation and the escalating NMC fees.

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  • it is not just about I and me but thousands of workers, unemployed, non-employed,pensioners and families across the country! Until the country has repaid its debts I and me cannot keep claiming more money at the expense of all the rest. I and me should be exceedingly grateful that there are still jobs to go to and are not in the same situation as many living in the Eurozone or in the US of A where their daily existence is threatened. If these debts are not paid off and Britain has too keep borrowing this could happen here as well.

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  • It is quite clear that NHS Employers regard NHS staff with total contempt. Who are these people anyway? Well spoken Christina McAnea - but what are you going to do about it?? Please let us have some action from Unison on this. It is so unfair that public sector workers have had to bear the brunt of reduction in government spending, both in terms of a substantial pay reduction in real terms, and decreased staff levels at work. And this is at a time when pensions and benefits have increased in line with inflation. How can that possibly be justified, and why aren't more employees angry. Do they not understand what inflation is, or do they just not care? I think we need to fight for a pay rise of at least 9% or more, just to keep pace with inflation.

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  • I would gladly miss out on the 1% if we could shed even 1% of non clinical managers - they seem to have been increasing by 100% a year.

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  • Anonymous | 15-Mar-2013 11:53 am

    A Party Political Broadcast on Behalf of the 'Fooled By the Government Propaganda & Misinformation Department'......Sucker.

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  • Anonymous | 15-Mar-2013 1:41 pm

    Anonymous | 15-Mar-2013 11:53 am


    do nurses have no knowledge and understanding of national and global economics and the UK financial debt and borrowing or do they refuse to see beyond their own pay packets? what about social conscience?

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  • Anonymous | 15-Mar-2013 2:09 pm

    Yes, nurses have a very full and first hand understanding of living in an unequal society where the gap between rich and poor is growing daily. But you apparently don't.

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  • Ah. I see Cameron's lap dog is prancing around on this site again.

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