Nurses will be given MORE than the 1% pay rise after all: Many staff will get 1.7% increase amid furore over wages following pandemic heroics
- Many still will get a 1.7 per cent increase to their wages this year thanks to a deal previously agreed by the government
- The extra 0.7 per cent is the last piece of a three-year pay deal that has already boosted salaries by 12 per cent
- The 0.7 per cent is worth another £234 to someone on the average nurse’s salary of £33,384
Nurses are in line for a bigger pay rise than the widely-criticised one per cent.
Many staff will actually get a 1.7 per cent increase to their wages this year thanks to a deal previously agreed by the Government.
The extra 0.7 per cent – worth another £234 to someone on the average nurse’s salary of £33,384 – is the last piece of a three-year pay deal that has already boosted salaries by 12 per cent.
There is frustration among some in Whitehall that Health Secretary Matt Hancock has failed to make it clear nurses will not get a real-terms pay cut, as Labour and unions are claiming.
‘No one can understand why the Department of Health presented this as a one per cent pay rise when it’s actually 1.7,’ a source said. ‘We are getting killed for giving nurses a real-terms pay cut, when it isn’t even true.’
Nurses are in line for a bigger pay rise than the widely-criticised one per cent. Many staff will actually get a 1.7 per cent increase to their wages this year thanks to a deal previously agreed by the Government. Pictured: NHS staff at University College Hospital in North London protest over the Government pay offer on Thursday
A Department of Health source confirmed that NHS staff in the ‘Agenda for Change’ pay group, which includes most nurses, will get a 0.7 per cent rise this year in addition to whatever emerges from the current pay round.
The source denied the department had underplayed the fact, however, saying it was set out in its submission to the NHS Pay Review Body, and had been mentioned by Mr Hancock at a No 10 press conference. The document published last week states: ‘We expect the total investment in AfC [Agenda for Change] in 2021/22 to be 1.7 per cent.’
It explains that the extra 0.7 per cent is an ‘overhang’ from the three-year deal agreed in 2018.
Only a third of nurses are happy with their pay
Only a third of nurses are happy with their pay with one in six considering leaving the profession, according to the annual NHS staff survey.
And almost half said they have faced work-related illness.
Experts described the findings as ‘worrying’ at a time when the Government needs more nurses. And the public sector union Unison said it showed how ‘insulting’ the current pay offer was.
The survey was completed by almost 600,000 NHS employees across England.
The pay structure is being streamlined for staff on bands five to seven – ranging from podiatrists to paramedics and therapists – and will put some staff at the top of the new pay points. This will create ‘significant pay increases’ of up to 12 per cent for some workers.
A separate group of the best-paid NHS staff in bands eight and nine, such as managers and chief nurses, are also due a final, as yet undecided, uplift from the three-year deal and ‘this represents an additional commitment on top of the 0.7 per cent overhang’.
Yesterday Labour made nurses’ pay the focus of its local elections campaign.
Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer said nurses should get at least the 2.1 per cent pay rise that was originally budgeted for by the NHS for this year. And he refused to rule out joining NHS staff on picket lines if they strike over pay.
At the party’s local election launch, Sir Keir dodged questions about whether he would back such action. He said: ‘Nobody in the NHS wants to go on strike. As I say, my wife works in the NHS. They don’t want to go on strike.
‘The only thing that is causing this dispute is the Prime Minister and it’s what he does that is going to determine this.
‘I support them in their entitlement to a fair wage rise after what they’ve been through.’
Labour will attempt to put more pressure on Boris Johnson over the proposed pay offer today by launching a poster attacking his ‘moral failure’ on the issue.
In an echo of the current Covid ad campaign, the billboard depicts a nurse and reads: ‘Boris Johnson, look her in the eyes and tell her why you’re cutting her pay.’
The party also wants the PM to correct the record after he wrongly said Labour had voted against an NHS pay rise.
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