NHS Pay Review Body ignored; NHS staff denied
The Pay Review Body report released today confirms the case for applying the maximum possible uplift to pay for NHS staff. The Government has ignored this for staff working in England. Nurses, paramedics, healthcare managers, porters, cleaners, medical records staff and healthcare assistants alike have been sent a clear message by Jeremy Hunt – that he wants to cut further and deeper and they are the ones who will have to pay. NHS staff in England will only get 1% if they are at the top of their pay band – which means that over two thirds of staff will miss out.
The real sting in the tail is that this 1% will not be ‘consolidated’ but will come in the form of a cash sum. So a nurse, paramedic, occupational therapist or accounts manager with 7 years’ experience will receive a sum amounting to just over a fiver a week.
UNISON argued strongly that the priorities for pay this year should be:
- to address the massive and widening gap between pay and the cost of living
- to prevent a fracturing of NHS pay across country lines
- to end poverty pay in the NHS by uplifting the lowest two pay points to meet the Living Wage
The Department of Health for England has failed to do any of these things.
What’s more, Mr Hunt has threatened to repeat this pay policy next year too, unless staff are prepared to trade their incremental progression and other contractual terms. Given that some unions are already talking about formal action, is Mr Hunt prepared for the consequences of ignoring the PRB? By denying a pay rise to the majority of nhs staff, Hunt is saving nearly £300m but at what cost?