GMB members reject NHS pay offer

7 Jun 18

A major trade union has overwhelmingly rejected a proposed National Health Service pay offer, which it says merely continues cuts to wages in real terms.

In a GMB ballot on a pay offer worth 6.5% for health service workers, 87% of the union’s NHS members voted to reject the deal.

The union had urged members to reject the offer, saying it would amount to three more years of cuts in real terms when considering inflation for half of NHS staff.

Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, said: “After nearly a decade of pay pinching, the prospect of a further three years of cuts to wages is unacceptable.

“GMB members have sent a clear message to [health secretary] Jeremy Hunt – it’s a no from us.”

The union has said that due to a government pay cap since 2010, paramedics have lost on average more than £14,000, midwives £18,000, and staff nurses £14,500. 

“The offer won’t allow them to claw any of that cash back,” said Kevin Brandstatter, GMB national officer.

“In fact, for the longer-serving, most loyal NHS workers, the 6.5% increase over three years actually means a real-terms pay cut, doesn’t put things right, and continues to punish those who have endured the pinch on pay.”

He added: “It does nothing to address the recruitment and retention crisis and it leaves the door open to new employees in the NHS being employed on worse terms and conditions than existing health service workers.”

In total, 14 unions are balloting members on the health service pay offer, but GMB is the only one that has urged members to reject the deal.

A Unison spokesperson told PF: “GMB is a relatively small union in terms of its number of NHS employees.”

A meeting will be held on Friday to see whether the other unions will accept the deal.

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