It looks as though hundreds of thousands of health-care professionals in the NHS are in line for a pay rise in the next three years. With ministers abandoning the salary squeeze that was supposed to last for seven years, some medical professionals are due to receive a rise between 9% and 29%. This is positive news for nurses and medical staff who have been calling out a pay increase in recent times but as is usually the case with the NHS, there is disagreement and discussion over this decision.
It is believed that more than one million medical professionals working for NHS England will receive an increase of 6.5%. There is still a need for the medical personnel to support the ballot that is currently with 14 Trade Unions. Eventually, medical professionals such as nurses, paramedics and midwives will have their say on this matter. There will also be a chance for medical professionals such as cleaners, porters and scientists to vote on the deal.
Close to unanimous backing from unions
It appears 13 of the 14 Unions are recommending that their members accept the offer and vote in a positive manner. The only Union that is not backing the deal is GMB. This means that groups like Unite, the Royal College of Nursing (the RCN) and Unison are backing the deal which will stop the 1% pay cap.
The Head of Health at Unison, Sara Gorton, said; “The agreement means an end at last to the government’s self-defeating and unfair 1% pay cap. It won’t solve every problem in the NHS but would go a long way towards making dedicated health staff feel more valued, lift flagging morale and help turn the tide on employers’ staffing problems.”
There appears to be agreement that the £4.2bn which has been released by the Treasury should be used to fund this deal. It is also hoped that support will be provided to the NHS employees who are currently the lowest paid employees in the organisation, in relative and absolute terms.
The proportion of NHS employees who sit at the upper level of their pay scale will receive the 6.5% increase but the remaining group, believed to 50% of the workforce, will receive increases in the 9% to 29% range. It is hoped that these increases will occur by 2020/21.
There will obviously be people who say that these measures don’t go far enough, and there is an argument to this. However, there is also a need to regain focus in the NHS and hopefully more medical professionals will feel as though their efforts are being acknowledged.
Until the final findings from the different Unions have been tallied, it would be wrong to take anything for granted but hopefully there is peace looming with respect to nurses and NHS professionals.