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NHS pay deal 'a bitter blow' to nurses

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Unions were disappointed by the offer Unions were disappointed by the offer

The Government has been slammed by the RCN and other organisations after announcing that NHS staff in England and Wales will receive a 3% pay rise.

According to the RCN, this lower than the rate of inflation, which is expected to hit 3.7% this year, meaning staff will effectively get a pay cut. The Welsh government has said staff working for the NHS in Wales will get the same.

‘After a shambolic day, comes a shambolic announcement. When the Treasury expects inflation to be 3.7%, ministers are knowingly cutting pay for an experienced nurse by over £200 in real-terms. Hospitals and other parts of the NHS are struggling to recruit nurses and health care support workers. The government has been warned that many more are on the verge of leaving. With today’s decision, ministers have made it even harder to provide safe care to patients,’ said RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen.

Read more: Decent NHS pay rise ‘vital’ for staff morale

'This announcement is light on detail. It must be fully-funded with additional monies for the NHS and ringfenced for the workforce bill. Nursing staff will remain dignified in responding to what will be a bitter blow to many. But the profession will not take this lying down. We will be consulting our members on what action they would like to take next.’

The NHS pay deal announced in Westminster has an impact on the money available for NHS pay in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is for the devolved governments in those countries to decide what pay rise to offer staff working there. An announcement in Northern Ireland is expected soon and we’ll be consulting members on that pay deal.

‘At least the limbo our hardworking members were left in by our shambolic Government has ended. We are disappointed that maternity staff in England will not receive a headline increase of 4% like their colleagues in Scotland. Through our evidence to the Pay Review Body, we managed to secure more than the 1% proposed by the Government, but again this is not backdated far enough or on par with the pay award in Scotland,’ said Jon Skewes, the RCM’s Executive Director for External Affairs.

Read more: Nurses’ response to COVID-19 pandemic hailed

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