Nurses, porters and paramedics can expect a pay rise of 6.5% over the next three years thanks to a deal agreed upon by unions and ministers.
The £4.2 billion deal will be tiered across nine bands – with those on the lowest tier receiving the highest annual rise in pay.
‘Today’s deal is neither a magic wand nor a blank cheque but commits significant Government cash to overlooked NHS staff without making any unpalatable demands in return,’ said chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Janet Davies.
‘There are 40,000 unfilled nurse jobs in England alone and this should begin to make the profession attractive again.’
Statistics from NHS Digital revealed that over 30,000 nurses left the profession in 2017, resulting in many NHS services struggling over the winter.
Titled the NHS Agenda for Change, nursing positions will begin on band five at a starting salary of £22,000 per annum and the lowest tiers, for porters and cleaners, could see a pay increase of £4000.
The deal, agreed upon by NHS unions, the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS Employers, will see half of all nurses receive more than the 6.5% pay increase.
This deal is a step forward in addressing average nurse salaries having fallen by 14% since 2010 – with many nurses having experienced pay freezes or 1% pay caps.
Ms Davies described the deal as providing NHS workers with ‘some much-needed stability’ over the next three years which could be a very ‘turbulent time’ for the service.
The RCN have endorsed the deal, describing it as a bid to retain existing nurses. It allows individuals to reach the top of their pay band sooner and for starting salaries to be increased, which will hopefully attract new recruits.
The NHS Agenda for Change contract will confirm these changes without any amendments to annual leave entitlements or unsociable hour payments.
Having lead a successful campaign last year to scrap the 1% cap on public sector pay increases, the RCN is pleased with what will be the largest pay rise in 10 years.
Ms Davies added: ‘The progress achieved here is a credit to our members who fought hard to scrap the brutally unfair pay cap.’