Public sector staff in line for average 1% pay rise

8 Mar 16

The Treasury has today confirmed that pay increases for public sector workers in the NHS and armed forces will be capped at an average of 1%, but prison service staff are to receive an increase above the limit set by ministers.

Publishing the findings from pay review bodies today ahead of next week’s Budget, chief secretary to the Treasury Greg Hands said the government needed to maintain restrictions as pay makes up over half of departmental resource spending.

“Our armed forces, NHS workers and prison officers do a brilliant job serving our country but with an increasingly turbulent global economy, pay restraint continues to be a key part of our plan to finish fixing the public finances.

“The independent OBR estimates that 200,000 public sector jobs have been protected thanks to our average 1% pay policy so we can continue to deliver crucial public services.”

The Treasury had asked the four pay review bodies – the Armed Forces Pay Review Body, the Prison Service Pay Review Body, the NHS Pay Review Body and the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body – to examine how an increase to base pay could be applied within the cap.

Hands said the bodies had worked hard to bring forward a balanced and affordable set of recommendations that delivered on this commitment. “The government is grateful for their work and I am pleased that we are able to accept their recommendations.”

Prison service staff will receive an increase of 1.36%, which is intended to recognise “the particular circumstances this year of introducing highly ambitious prison reform”, the Treasury said.

The Department of Health set out further details have been set out on the pay deals for NHS staff. A 1% pay rise will be awarded to doctors, dentists and all NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts, such as nurses, midwives, paramedics and healthcare assistants, for 2016/17.

The 1% increase will also be applied to junior doctors, who are having new contract terms imposed on them as part of government reforms, as well as to hospital consultants, GPs and dentists.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “It is thanks to the care, quality and dedication of NHS staff we are beginning to deliver a safer seven-day NHS for patients. And in line with the rest of the public sector, we are pleased to announce that all NHS staff will receive a 1% pay increase next year.”

Local government employers have offered most council staff a 1% in each of the next two years, but this has been rejected by both Unison and Unite trade unions.

Responding to the announcement, NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer said employers would welcome the acceptance of the recommendations from NHS pay review bodies.

“At the same time they recognise that the continued restraint of pay increases across the public sector is of concern to their staff and also restricts the ability to agree reform of non-medical contracts with staff representatives,” he added.

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