Hancock defends 1% pay rise after union strike threats — NHS pay

Brunilde Fioravanti
Marzo 7, 2021

Earlier in the day, the health minister Nadine Dorries said nurses have received a 12 per cent increase in pay over the last three years and the average nurse's salary is around £34,000.

"The public will be horrified".

Royal College of Nursing general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: "This is pitiful and bitterly disappointing".

"Some will think that the Government is snatching planned pay rises from the pockets of deserving NHS staff so they don't have to fund the extra costs of Covid-19, which the Chancellor personally committed he would meet".

"Times may be tough but this deal is below-inflation and derisory".

In its written evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) recommended a headline pay award of 1% for the 2021/22 pay round. "Millions in the private sector won't have any pay rise at all, or have lost their jobs, and public sector workers still benefit from a pay premium over the private sector once pensions and other benefits are taken into account".

The UK's largest union has called on the public to take part in a protest clap at the government's proposal to increase NHS staff wages by a mere 1% for workers in England.

"Pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be paused this year due to the challenging economic environment, but we will continue to provide pay rises for NHS workers, on top of a £513 million investment in professional development and increased recruitment".

"That's with record numbers of doctors and 10,600 more nurses working in our NHS, and with nursing university applications up by over a third".

"We've proposed what we think is affordable to make sure in the NHS people do get a pay rise", he said.

Jon Skewes of the Royal College of Midwives said a 1% pay rise would be an "absolute insult" to hardworking midwives, maternity support workers and other NHS staff.

He added: "Our members are working harder than they have ever done to deliver safe care to women and their families in the face of longstanding staffing shortages that existed prior to the pandemic". Dr Poulter, who has been assisting on the NHS frontline, told the BBC: "A lot of health professionals in the early part of the pandemic were working without the right equipment to protect themselves, and many people have gone above and beyond the hours they are already paid for during the pandemic and have really pulled together in very hard circumstances".

Unison has urged the government to award all NHS staff a pay rise of at least £2,000.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, who chairs the British Medical Association council, said: "This is a total dereliction of the Government's moral duty and obligation to a workforce that is keeping the NHS on its feet and patients alive".

He said: "If they are wise they will identify the groups under most pressure and offer them a one-off bonus rather than build in a pay increase which will obviously continue into a future where we may be in even more serious economic difficulties than we are today".

Rehana Azam, national officer of the GMB union, said: "Unless the Government get real and send through a proper option, it's very probable this will lead to industrial unrest, something no-one wants to see".

"The proposal of a 1% pay offer, not announced from the despatch box but smuggled out quietly in the days afterwards, fails the test of both honesty and fails to provide staff who have been on the very frontline of the pandemic the fair pay deal they need", the letter said.

"Our members in the NHS have risked everything to battle the coronavirus and keep the public safe - a below inflation rise would be a paltry insult".

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