The recommendation by NHS Employers to freeze pay for health service staff for a third year running, has been branded ‘a disgraceful attack on hard working staff' by trade union Unite.
The body representing all major health service employers is to call for the NHS pay freeze to be extended into a third year in a bid to protect services and minimise job losses. In total a two-year pay freeze between April 2011 and March 2013 was predicted to save £3.3 billion by 2014-15.
A spokesman from NHS Employers told Independent Nurse: 'NHS Employers, along with a number of other organisations, made its submission to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body on Friday 28 September.
'This contains our evidence on the challenges to the pay bill for doctors and dentists for the financial year 2013/14. Our evidence will be published by the DDRB alongside the evidence from other bodies.'
But Unite's head of health, Rachael Maskell said: ‘Reports that the organisation representing all the major health service employers is proposing a pay freeze for a third year is another blow to the living standards and morale of NHS staff.
‘It is NHS Employers that has already cut staff and downgraded healthcare professionals as it carries out the government's diktat to find £20 billion of so-called efficiency savings. In essence, NHS staff have seen their pay packets cut drastically in the last two years in real terms, while household bills have soared.
‘NHS bosses are wildly out of touch with their own staff. Managers have already instituted massive cuts to staffing levels, which are adversely impacting on patient care. NHS staff are at breaking point. ‘NHS staff have already borne the brunt of the government's policy of making the public sector staff pay for the gross mistakes of the financial elite - Unite will be strongly opposing this policy of blatant unfairness.
‘The NHS Employers appear to be trying to launch a pre-emptive attack on the independent Pay Body Review (PBR) process.' Unite has about 100,000 members working in the health service. The Department of Health and unions are expected to make their submissions to the review body before the end of the month.