NHS unions agree 6.5% pay deal

8 Jun 18

National Health Service staff across England will receive an average 6.5% pay rise after unions agreed to accept a government wage offer.

More than one million NHS staff will benefit from the three-year pay deal after 14 unions balloted members on whether to accept it.

This comes despite the GMB union announcing on Wednesday that 87% of their NHS members had voted to reject the offer.

The deal, which means an average 6.5% wage increase for staff, will be funded from a special £4.2bn allocation from central government, meaning that no funds will be diverted away from NHS services.

Every NHS worker will now be paid a minimum of £8.93 an hour, with the pay rise providing a significant boost to the lowest paid workers such as caterers, porters and administrators.

Sara Gorton, Unison head of health, said: “The lifting of the damaging 1% cap on pay will come as a huge relief for all the employers who’ve struggled for so long to attract new recruits and hold on to experienced staff.

“But this three-year pay deal must not be a one off. Health workers will want to know that ministers are committed to decent wage rises across the NHS for the long term, and that this isn’t just a quick fix.”

NHS staff will receive the money in their July pay packets, backdated from April.

Josie Irwin, senior health negotiator and Royal College of Nursing associate director for employment relations, said: "By standing together, the NHS unions were able to reject all unpalatable demands to cut annual leave or unsocial hours payments and get the best possible deal from a government still committed to austerity.

“The government would be mistaken if it thought today’s deal was the end, rather than the beginning, of that journey.”

The pay offer was initially proposed in March and focused on the lowest paid workers on NHS Agenda for Change contracts.

It is expected that funding will now be made available for health budgets in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, allowing pay negotiations to take place for health workers outside England.

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