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Pay rise for nurses limited to 1% says Osborne

  • 32 Comments

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.”

  • 32 Comments

Readers' comments (32)

  • Plenty of cash for a new train line for taxpayers to build and Branson to make a fortune from.

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  • tinkerbell

    redpaddys12 | 28-Jun-2013 11:21 pm

    yeah, a new train line that will get you there 20 minutes sooner to other places with major unemployment.

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  • The existing train lines need to get up to scratch before this government should even consider building another one.
    More Train lines is big big money for the fat cats. When will it end?

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  • Anonymous | 29-Jun-2013 4:17 pm

    I think you would then agree that the same applies to the NHS with more front line staff before investing in the luxury of some of the superfluous initiatives which have been proposed by various officials.

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  • Tinkerbell
    All 'high-speed-rail-links' lead to London, eh? Reading Bill Brysons ' Notes on a Small Island' recently, stated if you drew a line from Bristol to the Wash, you would effectively divide the population as a whole in twain, 30 million a side ( wonder who would win in a fight?).
    When the Wicked Witch was wielding her broomstick, 1.3 million jobs were lost to the north of that line, 100,000 to the south.
    Now there aren't any jobs to the north of the line to lose, so they have to go after the unemployed and disabled, meanwhile the Queen gets an extra £5million quid a year to keep a palace or 7 over her head.

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  • tinkerbell

    redpaddys12 | 30-Jun-2013 0:53 am

    being a bit of a daft bint sometimes i made a fundamental error and forgot that the high speed train would also bring people from 'up north' to down south. This is where my arguement falls to the ground,

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  • tinkerbell

    redpaddys12 | 30-Jun-2013 0:53 am

    Aye fink that when i thirst lernt to drive some1 should have hexplaned to me that there wer 2 M1's. One took you hup norf and one bought you back down, aye thunk dat you went hup and down on the same one and this confuzed me cos aye thunk that i would corsa crash coming back down on the same one dat i went hup on hand bee driving agin the floe of traffik.

    somewun had to hexplane dat 2 mee. Gordon Benhurnet.

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  • Tinkerbell
    So that's why they offer return tickets, eh? The HS2 line is there for all the BBC luvvies to get the hell out of Manc-land before the weekend. Happy to score their 'Devils Dandruff' from someone who should be on Jeremy Kyle to sniff in the bogs of the Groucho, but live with them? Mancunians? Urgh.

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  • tinkerbell

    Redpaddy, aye fink, no stop that now. OK. Start again.

    Aye, gone are the halcion days, before Jeremy Kyle and his DNA paternity testing, when i man could push another mans baby around in a pram in blissful ignorance

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  • Nursing is a s*** job, and this decision on pay simply confirms it. No wonder there's going to be a nursing shortage, who with half a brain would want this job??? God help the hapless public who expect to be cared for in public hospitals, they aren't going to get the service they deserve if staff are unmotivated. Mr Osborne - you will get owt for nowt!!

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