Government further delays pay rise for NHS workers

Parliament will start its summer recess tomorrow – meaning a pay announcement will likely be delayed until MPs return.

Matt Bodell
21 July 2021
Nurse walking in street

A 1% pay rise is all the Government says it can afford.

The Government has further delayed an announcement on NHS pay.

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Today Conservative MP and Health Minister Helen Whately told Parliament that the Government was still “considering” the undisclosed recommendations of the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB).

Commenting on NHS pay Ms Whately said; “The Government asked for recommendations from the NHS Pay Review Bodies and the Government is rightly seriously considering those recommendations and we will be responding as soon as we possibly can.”

Questioned numerous times about the ongoing delays, Ms Whately simply repeated that an announcement would be “made in due course”.

With a pay offer originally expected in April 2020 and Parliament starting summer recess tomorrow, it means a pay announcement will likely be delayed further until MPs return.

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Nothing.

The NHSPRB’s recommendations have been on the Health Secretaries desk since early July but are still yet to be seen by Health Unions.

Shadow Labour Health Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan criticised the governments’ failure to commit to a real-terms pay rise for NHS workers.

Dr Alin-Khan said; “Once again the Government has had to row back on their shoddy ill-thought-through position on a 1% pay rise – a real-terms pay cut reject by the independent pay body. What do the Government do? Nothing.

“Less than an hour ago there were competing briefings on what the deal was going to be but it turned out to be nothing. Our NHS staff deserve better than this.”

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Health unions and grassroots campaigning groups have been calling for a 12.5% to 15% pay rise since July 2020 following over a decade of real-terms pay cuts.

Figures suggest that the most experienced front-line nurses are around £6144 per year worse off now than ten years ago due to wages failing to keep up with the rate of inflation (RPI).

Shameful.

Responding to delays, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said it is clear ministers are holding NHS in “contempt” and have condemned the ongoing delays.

RCN Interim General Secretary and Chief Executive, Pat Cullen, said: “This treatment of our NHS workers is shameful. Ministers are holding them in contempt and we have no choice but to condemn this behaviour.

“With tens of thousands of nursing vacancies and thousands more considering their future in the profession, the government is sending the worst possible signal with this political gameplaying.

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“Ministers need to stop the wrangling and come clean about the pay rise they believe NHS staff deserve. Nursing staff will only accept this pay award if it’s significant, consolidated and fully funded with additional monies.”

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