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Pay rise for nurses limited to 1% says Osborne


Pay for NHS nurses will be limited to just 1% in 2015-16, Chancellor George Osborne has announced, as part of £11.5bn spending cuts.

The Chancellor also told MPs in the House of Commons today that automatic pay progression for “most health staff” will be linked to performance, bringing to an end the dominance of automatic incremental pay rises.

He said limiting pay rises in the 2015-16 year to an average of up to 1% in 2015-16 would save taxpayers £1.6bn.

The government’s comprehensive spending review pledged “substantial reforms” to automatic pay rises in the NHS “ensuring public sector workers do not receive pay increases purely as a result of time in post.”

George Osborne told the House of Commons today it was “unfair” on both public and private sector employees who have had their pay frozen or restricted to 1% to see others enjoy increases of “up to 7%.”

The spending document sets out: “Most health staff will be subject to local performance standards, which will link progression pay more closely to performance, not time served, and the government will seek further reforms.”

It is not clear what is meant by further reforms.

The NHS Employers organisation secured an agreement with trade unions in February around linking pay progression to performance under the Agenda for Change Framework, which affects almost one million NHS staff.

As part of its evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body in October, NHS Employers argued incremental “drift”, where staff progress automatically through pay bands on the Agenda for Change framework, adds around 2% to each NHS trust’s pay bill annually.

Automatic rises for doctors, who are covered by a separate contract, can range from 3% to 8% of pay a year, according to NHS Employers. For wider NHS staff, increments can result in increases of 1.8-3.7% a year.

The Royal College of Nursing said it would seek clarification from the government around its pay progression proposals.

Chief executive Peter Carter said: “Changes which the RCN and other unions negotiated with the government mean that NHS pay progression is already conditional on employees demonstrating they have the right skills, knowledge and performance.

“These increments reward hard working nurses and encourage the development of the workforce, and it is unfair to suggest that they are based simply on time served.”

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said the attack on pay would  lead to a shortage of nursing. He said: “If the Chancellor really wants to end pay progression then employers need to pay the rate for the job from day one. That will not save money but will cost the Treasury a lot more.”


Readers' comments (32)

  • tinkerbell

    Newsnight tonight summarised. 10 billion plus more of cuts over the next year, hit the weakest the hardest.

    Announcing more cuts even though the original plan isn't working.

    The healthservice has about 1 million workers another 5 billion to be cut.

    The future shape of a conservative Britain and the opposition have signed up to it too.

    Osbourne on an agenda he feels very comfortable with.

    2 years ago told these further cuts would not be necessary. Michael Gove says yes but it didn't work out the way we hoped prediction wise, eurozone, global downturn.

    350 million cuts on welfare.

    Mr Gove says if we are 'fortunate enough' to have another conservative government, they might have to exceed this. This will 'incentivise' people who want to work.He says 'this is the point of a democracy'.

    More nurses on the dole, hope you will feel incentivised to work, cos otherwise you won't be paying any tax, like we are now, better to have us on the dole feeling 'incentivised'.

    Labour say they will try and stimulate growth where tories haven't but will probably have to stick with these cutbacks if they inherit the problems caused by this government. 3 billion wasted on NHS reforms.

    The future's not bright. Let's all tighten our belts, remembering 'we're all in this together'.

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  • Where are the unions? Why are they so ineffective these days?? Why do some of them prefer to just call themselves "professional bodies" who suck up to our leaders, then just dabble a little in union activity?

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  • another pay cut, inflation will go up, I will be worse off just like I have been for the past couple of years.

    funny how the daily mail report that we are getting a bonanza pay rise.

    as a UK taxpayer I want to know how much of a payrise other public sector workers will get, including the govt.

    if the public really cared about their local NHS they would all be happy to contribute just 1 pound each week to keep their local hospitals open instead of spending it on a lottery ticket.

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  • The only way to get the funding needed to provide top notch services with short waiting lists by a generously remunerated public servant workforce is to increase income tax. How many people on here remember the levels before Thatcher came to power? How many people were unhappy as the rate tumbled from 30%+ to where it sits at 20% now?

    For the record I am not, and never have been, a supporter of the conservative party.

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  • I would never ever support the Tories. They only care about middle england and the rich, the poor always suffer under their so-called leadership.
    those who voted lib-dem were shafted right up the swanny.

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  • Was it me or did I read the other day that there is a predicted shortfall of nurses around 2016!! Best have another look at this one guys as it may be sooner when we all leave in droves!!!
    Absolute garbage from a government that is focussed on only one thing - the end of the NHS and the full right swing to private enterprise in health!!
    1% for the responsibility, accountability for the job we do, not to mention putting the food on our tables and clothes on our backs with the money in our banks being worth less and less!!

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  • Anonymous | 27-Jun-2013 1:45 pm

    even if it all goes private nurses will still be needed and even more so as far higher standards will be expected.
    It is strange how doctors and not nurses reap the benefits from private medicine as far as renumeration goes. anybody have any idea why?

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  • tinkerbell

    Astonishing hypocrisy from Hunt saying standards must improve blah blah blah and scandels must end blah blah, when they plan to cut another 5 billion from the health budget, so there will be even less staff.

    This is the biggest cut on OUR NHS from the overall cuts of over 10 billion so the nhs is to suffer nearly half of the overall cuts.

    What unbelieveable lies they are telling the nation when they say they want improvements in the nhs whilst they are running it into the ground.

    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

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  • Incremental increases are a contractual obligation. I'm sure Jeffrey Osborne (or whatever his name is) is not advocating the unilateral breaking of contracts. Of course, if the unions give in and renegotiate AfC, that will be the end of automatic incremental increases. It also means that all of the trusts who have ignored KSF reviews will now have to spend time and money putting them in place,thus negating any supposed savings. Anyway, how many nurses who do the job don't already have the full set of competencies. I see a huge and expensive box-ticking exercise in our futures.

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  • tinkerbell

    someone said 'slavery still exists, the only difference now is we're getting paid'.

    Whilst other countries are striving for democracy, better pay, education etc., we appear, in this country, to be on the race to the bottom.

    Whilst other countries are trying to expose and eradicate corruption, we appear to have corruption on the increase with our so called 'leaders' and ministers who tell us how to live and then do the exact opposite themselves and then try and convince us that 'we're all in this together'. What a lie.

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