Workforce and Training

08.06.18

Union backing means NHS workers to receive new pay deal of 6.5%

Over a million NHS workers are to receive a 6.5% pay increase in a new deal after votes were passed in favour by 13 unions.

Following a six-week consultation with members, 77% of trade unions accepted the proposed pay deal which will be in members’ pay packets at the end of July and be backdated to 1 April.

The deal will see all nursing staff working for the NHS in England get a pay rise of at least 6.5% over three years, with a 3% increase in the first year. 

Some members will get more as the deal comes with changes to the NHS pay band structure, which will reduce the number of ‘pay points’ — meaning differing levels of pay inside each pay band — and remove the current overlap between bands.

Starting salaries will increase and staff will be able to progress to the top of their band quicker. 


RCN chief executive Janet Davies said: "After today, the government cannot assume that the thorny issue of NHS pay has been put to bed. This deal marks a move in the right direction but the bigger leap to truly fair pay still needs to be taken.

“However, it does give a genuine pay rise to over one million people and that cannot be underestimated in challenging economic times. 

“We will turn our campaigning fire on getting this pay rise extended to nursing staff in other parts of the NHS and social care too. The care sector already suffers from high staff turnover and so pay there must be boosted if we are to prevent a nursing exodus for better paid jobs in hospitals and the community.”

The chair of the RCN College Trade Union Committee, which was in favour of the deal, added: “We don’t see this decision as the end of our fight for fair pay, but rather a good first step. In three years’ time, the political and economic landscape may be completely different.

“This deal gives our members extra cash through potentially turbulent times ahead, and gives us a platform to build upon in the future.”

Head of analysis at NHS Providers, Philippa Hentsch, said the organisation was pleased to hear the deal has been so widely accepted by health trade unions, but argued that it is important staff are “rewarded fairly,” and that the government honours its commitments to fully fund the pay rise to all Agenda for Change workers.

“Failure to do so would raise the risk of some staff being left behind, or the additional costs falling to providers which are already financially overstretched. And that could impact on the quality of care they are able to provide,” she concluded.

 The GMB were the only union to oppose the deal.

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Image credit: Alphotographic

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