NHS MANAGERS have called for the next pay rise for staff to be capped at just 2%, claiming anything higher would force trusts to make redundancies.
NHS Employers, which negotiates on behalf of NHS trusts in England, submitted its evidence to the pay review body last week.
Alastair Henderson, deputy director of NHS Employers, said: ‘A pay award which trusts find unaffordable will only cause further problems that will impact adversely on morale, such as reductions in posts, vacancy freezes and failure to meet healthcare and financial targets.’
According to the evidence submitted by NHS Employers, the number of compulsory redundancies made by trusts has been ‘minimal’ over the last financial year.
There have been 2,330 compulsory redundancies across the NHS in the same period, 418 of which were clinical posts, the evidence said.
It also confirmed negotiators were considering a pay deal for nurses and other NHS staff until 2011.
But John Skewes, director of employment relations at the Royal College of Midwives, said: ‘It is a case of his master’s voice. The Treasury has set a 2% maximum pay target for the next three years and I think the NHS Employers has taken the lead from that. It is complete nonsense.’
Evidence submitted by 14 trade unions earlier in the week – including Unison and the RCN – called for a pay rise ‘substantially above’ inflation, as measured by the Retail Price Index.
Unions argued that the pay gap between nurses and other public-sector professions was growing.
They also said that morale was dropping in the NHS and that staff were struggling to cope with their workload.
According to NHS staff survey results, referred to in the evidence, 54% of staff have seen their workload increase.