The NHS Pay Review Body has not requested a remit from the health secretary, Alan Johnson, to reopen talks about the three year NHS pay settlement.
Both Unison and the RCN said they were ‘disappointed’ with the decision.
RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: ‘We are extremely disappointed that the Review Body is not recommending reopening NHS pay talks. But the fact is the economy has changed dramatically since the three year deal was singed, lurching from the highest inflation levels in 16 years to recession and associated job losses.
Unison head of health Karen Jennings said: ‘While inflation has started to come down…yet health workers have experienced big increases in food prices and other costs over the past nine months.’
The three-year deal gave NHS staff a 2.75% pay rise backdated to April 2008. From 1 April 2009 they will receive a 2.54% pay increase and in 2010 the pay increase is set at 2.5% which includes a flat rate increase of £420 for the bottom three Agenda for Change band staff.