Unison has today announced that its members have accepted the government’s pay offer for NHS workers.
The union’s ballot closed today. It said 67% of voters were in favour of accepting the deal and 32% were against. It did not reveal the turnout.
“I’m proud of the fact our members were prepared to take strike action without compromising patient care”
Last month, members of the Royal College of Midwives voted to accept the offer, which would see the majority of nursing and midwifery staff in England receive a 1% pay rise from April.
Other unions including Unite, the Royal College of Nursing and the GMB are yet to declare whether they will accept the deal.
Unison head of health Christina McAnea said: “Although it does not go far enough, it is improvement and it will make a difference particularly to over 250,000 of the lowest-paid in the NHS.
“I’m proud of the fact our members were prepared to take strike action without compromising patient care. Their industrial action has forced the government to negotiate with us,” she said.
“We are calling on any government elected in May to develop a pay strategy that rewards health workers fairly for the demanding jobs they do, and ensures the NHS can continue to recruit and retain a high quality workforce,” she added.
The government put forward a renewed pay offer for all NHS staff in England in January, causing unions to suspend a planned 12-hour strike in order to consult members on the proposals.
The move followed two four-hour strikes held in the autumn – on 13 October and on 24 November.
The offer is for a 1% pay rise for all staff up to band 8B on the Agenda for Change pay framework, with an additional £200 consolidated payment for lower paid staff on pay points 3-8.
However, staff earning more than £40,558 would not receive an increment rise in April this year.
According to the Department of Health these changes would mean the deal will not increase the NHS pay bill in 2015-16. It said this has enabled it to make the 1% pay offer.
Negotiations also resulted in a commitment from the government to the NHS Pay Review Body, which would in the future continue to make recommendations on pay for NHS staff from 2016 onwards.