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

Unions react to public sector pay policies


Unions have welcomed a government pledge to honour the three-year pay deal for nurses but expressed concern at Tory plans for a pay freeze.

It merged on Monday that the Treasury had written to the NHS pay review body, calling for senior NHS managers and GPs to be subject to a one-year pay freeze, while hospital doctors and dentists should get no more than a 1 per cent rise.

The Treasury leak said that nurses and other public sector workers currently with multi-year pay deals would not be affected by the move.

UNISON head of health Karen Jennings said: “We are pleased that the government is honouring the three-year pay deal for our hard-working health members – many of whom are low-paid women.   

“They will breathe a sigh of relief that they won’t have their pay frozen. The deal has given a decent increase for our members and established a new minimum wage of £6.77 an hour,” she added.

But the Treasury leak was followed by a speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, in which shadow chancellor George Osborne said there would be a pay freeze for all public sector workers – with the exception of some military personnel – form 2011.

Commenting on the Tory proposals, Royal College of Midwives director of employment relations Jon Skewes said: “A pay freeze for frontline NHS staff in short supply such as midwives, will not encourage more midwives to join the NHS. It may well cause many existing midwives to leave.”

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis added: “They are trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes by pretending they care about low-paid workers. Millions of public sector workers will be left out in the cold by this pay freeze.”

Peter Carter, head of the RCN, said: “It is premature at this stage for any party who aspires to form the next government to talk about public sector pay freezes in 2011. We face an uncertain economy but we know that we are likely to face a recruitment crisis in nursing in the future. To ensure that patient care is not compromised we need to attract and keep nurses working in the NHS.”


Readers' comments (2)

  • as usual when the government [any party] want to save money it's the nurses, paramedics ,police etc. that have to suffer. can't they take a pay cut, surely a few m.p.'s taking a cut will save more then our pay freeze

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I left the UK to nurse in Australia 4 years ago, we get decent pay, good conditions. Things are not perfect but I sit and read the way nurses are treated in the UK just so i can laugh at the way you put up with it. Your all pathetic for putting up with this, if it is effecting patient care and your not doing anything about it then your not fit to call yourself nurses. your unions are useless because you as nurse's let them be useless. I voted with my feet and have never been happier. might see some of you soon

    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.