Some NHS staff to miss out on pay rise over next 5 years

Not every NHS worker will be receiving the 1% pay rise promised to public sector staff in the government’s Summer Budget, according to a letter sent to NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) by the Treasury.

Treasury chief secretary Greg Hands MP said in a letter to pay review bodies – including the two that cover NHS staff, doctors and dentists – that there should be “no expectation” that all workers would receive a 1% pay rise, as these would be applied “in a targeted manner”.

He said in the letter: “The government expects pay awards to be applied in a targeted manner to support the delivery of public services, and to address recruitment and retention pressures.

“This may mean that some workers could receive more than 1% while others could receive less; there should not be an expectation that every worker will receive a 1% award.”

Hands added that departments would submit proposals to their pay review bodies outlining the needs to their workforces.

He blamed the limited pay rises on the £20bn of public sector savings announced in the Summer Budget, which sought to deliver a surplus by 2019-20.

“Whilst the deficit and debt are being reduced, the government will need to continue to ensure restraint in public sector pay. Without such restraint, reductions would need to come from other areas of spend, resulting in negative impacts on public services and jobs.

“At a time of difficult decisions, the government’s pay policy will help to protect the jobs of thousands of front line public sector workers,” Hands added.

Public sector unions reacted angrily to the letter, accusing the government of “smoke and mirrors” in their original pay rise pledge.

Unison general secretary, Dave Prentis, said: “There was no substance to Osborne’s claim and NHS staff will be bitterly disappointed to hear many of them may not even get an extra penny for five more years.

“It is difficult to see how much targeting you can get from a miserly 1% without resulting in hundreds of thousands not getting a pay rise at all.

“Ministers’ acknowledgment of saving at least £8bn with the pay caps and freezes imposed on public sector pay proves it is nurses, healthcare assistants, porters and paramedics who are still paying for a deficit they have nothing to do with.”

The Treasury secretary noted that the government will continue to “examine pay reforms” and consider relevant legislation to achieve their budget objectives – alongside the help of pay review bodies.

In November 2014, NHS workers, including members from nine different unions, staged strike action against the government’s decision not to accept the recommended 1% pay rise to healthcare employees.

Shortly before that, a poll commissioned by the Royal College of Midwives found that 82% of the public believed NHS staff should receive the 1% pay rise recommended by the independent pay review body.

However Jeremy Hunt had said at the time that the NHS couldn’t afford a 1% pay rise alongside incremental increases, adding that the unions’ demands would lead to 14,000 frontline jobs being cut over two years.

(Top image c. Dominic Lipinski, PA Images)


Disgruntled   26/08/2015 at 14:01

Targeting a 1% rise to "to support the delivery of public services, and to address recruitment and retention pressures." I thought MPs had 10% pay rise - and they had 6 or 7 applications for each job. Can't get GPs or nurses to apply for the many vacancies across the country. Seems they speak with forked tongue?

Hypocracy   26/08/2015 at 15:13

MPs accept a 10% pay rise because it would be 'illegal' to ignore their pay review body, yet year on year they override the DDRB recommendations. If there is to be no pay rise for a further 5 years, how will the tens of thousands of primary and secondary workers who work for minimum wage meet the other government target of a national working wage of £9 per hour by 2020. Staff retention will become impossible without cost of living increases as a minimum, money will be taken from other budgets to supplement the wage bill, resulting in fewer Doctors, Dentists and Nurses employed in the community, and probably secondary care - maybe that's the government strategy to reduce the recruitment crisis! It certainly will have a detrimental affect on patient care.

Alan Francis   26/08/2015 at 15:22

Why have they not applied this formula to MPs pay rises? After all we're all supposed to be in this together aren't we. Some of us are in this together but that doesn't include MPs methinks.

Stephen Adshead   26/08/2015 at 17:33

It is outrageous, on one hand for the Tory Government to justify awarding themselves a 10% rise and then trying to tell NHS workers who have seen virtually no rise for a few years they cannot even have a one per cent, sheer hypocrisy

Tired   27/08/2015 at 06:51

Although the govt pay rise is hurtful, please stop using it as an argument! The govt pay rise would have costed a fraction of what NHS payments cost to implement. Think people!

Stuart W   27/08/2015 at 07:22

There is always an assumption that pay in the private sector is somehow superior to that of the public sector. Wake up and smell the coffee, it is not. Annual across the board pay rises reward no one, if you want improvement target your resources

Rob W   27/08/2015 at 08:59

The government does not understand the NHS pay scale. All this blister about incremental pay rises blinds the public. When you are offered a post in the NHS it is in a pay band. The job pays up to the top of that band which you achieve incrementally whilst developing the skills and competencies required of the post. It's not a pay rise per se, it's recognition of you achieving what's needed to do your job. The fact that the cost of living is outstripping out salary increments is why NHS staff should be offered more than 1%. How many people in the private sector have had a five year pay freeze and look set to face another five? Don't tell me how hard it is outside the public sector, I've been there, and it's often better paid than we are!

Lynne Dale   30/08/2015 at 15:49

Do you know what I am speechless and so demoralised for the public sector. OK MPs do deserve the pay increase when you look at the other things which have changed with regards to pensions and expenses BUT public service workers have had their terms and conditions eroded with no compensation. The MPs pay rise is neutral but Public Health Service workers pay is to the benefit of the government NOT neutral!!!!,!

Geoff Holland   30/08/2015 at 16:40

Thanks for this. I've dug out the form to renew my membership of Unison which accidentally lapsed.

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