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Sacrifice a day’s leave for minor pay rise, says government

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Talks between the Treasury, DHSC, unions and health bodies are 'on-going'

NHS leaders, health unions and the government are close to reaching an agreement for a three-year pay deal for staff in England, leaked documents have revealed.

The agreement, however, is thought to be conditional on staff giving up a day’s holiday in return, with the government insisting this is deal-breaker in the negotiations.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it did not comment on leaks but that negotiations were ‘on-going’. If true, and the talks prove successful, this could mean the first real rise in pay for NHS since 2010.

According to the documents obtained by the Guardian, the Treasury and the DHSC are offering around 1 million NHS staff a 6.5% pay rise over the next three years in a deal worth £3.3 billion.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said: ‘The RCN has been part of pay talks alongside all NHS unions. They are on-going and have not concluded. Once there is agreement in principle - and the Treasury commits to fully fund it - our members will decide if any deal is acceptable.’

Although any increase in pay will surely be welcomed by NHS staff, there are concerns about whether the increase is sufficient. Particularly when the effect of inflation, which has caused staff’s pay to fall in real terms over the past 7 years, is factored in.

Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the health think tank Nuffield Trust, told Independent Nurse: ‘This would not be a major increase in pay. With inflation forecast at two to three percent in the coming years, a settlement like this would actually mean wages flat-lining in terms of what staff can actually buy.

‘What’s more, if proposals did include the loss of a day’s annual leave, this could effectively be a pay cut of around 0.4%.’

The plans include a 3% increase in the pay of all non-medical NHS staff in England in 2018-19, with rises of between 1-2% in the following two years. The rise would affect nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, but exclude doctors and dentists, who are paid through a different system.

Any deal would need to be ratified by both union members and ministers, with a potential sticking-point being the government’s demand for staff to forfeit a day’s leave in return.

Responding to the reports, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said 'there is a possible agreement on pay in sight' but regretted the timing of the leak, saying it 'is unfortunate because it puts out an incomplete and unfinalised picture of what is being discussed and where we are in these negotiations with the Government. It does not help to speculate on rumour and whispers in corridors.

'It is important now that the RCM, our colleagues in the other health unions, and the Government focus on settling this pay deal, and when we know what the full and final offer is, take that to our members in the NHS. I hope that we can all make that announcement soon.'

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

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this would really help. Why are nurses having to give up a day. This looks like they are paying for their pay increase. Anyway hope all will succeed and not fall through. It will be a welcome change by all. Hopefully this will help retain staff.
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I hope the NMC dont sell us out again the Holidays were part of a pay negotiation years ago. we need a real pay rise not a minus figure. no wonder so many people are leaving the NHS.
Posted by: ,
Is it just NHS staff that have to sacrifice a days annual leave for a payrise, I bet the politicians don't!!!
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We (community nurses) already lost out with cuts to car user allowances; also loss off retention bonuses. Now we have to lose annual leave. Best option is working to rule across the board for all Nurses. They would take notice then and it would not involve striking, which tends to be very unpopular with caring professionals.
Posted by: ,
Sounds like yet another pay scam. Sounds good on the surface but, underneath, is just a pretty covering for a poorly baked cake! The Government, NHS Management, and perhaps also the Unions are attempting to pull the wool over both the eyes of nursing professionals and the general public; unfortunately the latter only see what's on the surface and not what's really been offered. I sincerely hope nurses will vote against this and that Unions listen to their members for once and support their decisions. This isn't BREXIT but, if nurses vote against acceptance of this 'pay rise deal', the Unions will veto any deal that is not accepted by their 'constituents'.
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Our rent has gone up 4% every year for the last seven years, council tax has just gone up 4.99%. (Husband has lost job/career, unable to work as having to wait 6 months for an operation on the NHS, then will be 3-6 months to recover so living on one salary now, then has to change career/retrain/ find new employment as unable to do previous job anymore). I can not afford to stay in nursing. I am unable to take an entire week of annual leave as no staff to cover my work. But that's okay as the goverment want to take our annual leave in return for a minimal, insulting pay rise. I am unable to work extra shifts at the weekend, or progress further in my nursing career due to exhaustion/pain from a cardiac condition. Not entitled to any financial help as we do not have any children and I work (unable to have children and could not afford IVF). Downward spiral into debt, possibly facing becoming homeless. I seriously regret not following a more lucrative career pathway, should have become an MP. As rewarding as nursing is, it has not done me any favours. I have almost worked myself to death- literally. And for what?
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Still robbing us... why do we have to sacrifice anything ? Haven't we done our bit?. It's about time our government looked after us for a change, no wonder we have no staff in the NHS. It would appear the government wants the NHS to fail to enable them to privatise the whole system, then say it's not their fault!! Watch this space ....
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I am shocked that to get a pay rise we are supposed to sacrifice a days annual leave. What sort of deal is that? It does not happen in other companies and why should we accept it; give with one hand and take back with the other. All talk about how well respected the NHS staff are, what difficult circumstances they work in, how they go out and beyond the call of duty etc etc then throw that slap in the face into the mix. Show respect for us or you will lose us and then have to pick up the agency bills. The horse is already bolting out the door.....
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Tell the government to stick their pathetic offer!!! Healthcare staff should not have to forfeit any holidays, we should be given a decent rise that reflects our hard work and dedication!!!
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Does anybody else have to sacrifice a day to get an increase in pay. Our days off keep us safe to practice. Disgusting.
Posted by: ,
The Government don't realise if forced to give up annual leave sick leave will increase. I for one would tell the government to stick it!
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