Negotiations over renumeration should be brought forward so that pay deals due to expire in 2021 can be replaced with a pay rise sooner, healthcare unions have said.
On 21 July, the government announced pay settlements for other sectors for 2020/21. However, pay for NHS Agenda for Change staff was not expected to be included as a deal is currently in place for that year.
An RCN survey revealed a rise in members considering leaving the profession, with many citing pay as a factor. Of the 42,000 members who responded to the survey, nearly three quarters (73%) said higher pay would make them feel more valued.
‘Nursing staff have witnessed great public support and now need to feel the same from government. Telling them to wait until next year is not acceptable – nursing staff deserve a fair pay rise now,’ said Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive.
‘The RCN, along with 13 other health unions, wrote to ministers several weeks ago asking for discussions on a fully-funded pay rise for NHS staff. The government needs to initiate that conversation without delay and conduct it on the basis of facts. In this year, of all years, it is time to value these professionals and begin to fill the tens of thousands of vacant posts.’
‘Midwives, MSWs and many of their NHS colleagues are not included in today’s announcement. The RCM and other health unions are calling on the Government to bring forward a pay deal set for April 2021, and to negotiate a much more substantial increase for these staff. This should recognise the urgent need to recruit more staff into the NHS, retain those we already have and restore real earnings. The Chancellor cannot ignore this call any longer,’ said Jon Skewes, Executive Director for External Relations at the Royal College of Midwives.
‘The massive contribution and dedication of our NHS workers during the pandemic has shown just how valuable they are. It is now time to give midwives, maternity support workers and other NHS staff the early and substantial pay rise they deserve.’