The news comes amid a decade of real-terms pay cuts for NHS workers.
The Government is planning to cut the real-terms pay of NHS workers once again as it proposes fundamental changes to the NHS pension scheme.
Nearly a million of the lowest-paid NHS workers could see their pension contributions rise next year if the proposals are accepted.
A consultation document reveals that a band 2 healthcare assistant would see their pension contributions increase from 5.6% today to 6.1% in April 2022 then 6.6% in April 2023 – a real-terms pay cut of around £25 a month. Meanwhile a senior band 5 registered nurse would see their contributions jump in a single rise from 9.3% to 9.8%.
In a stark comparison, the highest-paid NHS workers would actually see their contributions fall from 14.5% to 12.5%. The document tries to justify the changes; “This change ensures that the costs and benefits of the scheme are more evenly shared.”
The news comes amid a decade of real-terms pay cuts for NHS workers, with experienced nurses being around £6000 a year worse off now than a decade ago.
Hammering hard working NHS staff.
If implemented, NursingNotes has calculated that the majority of nurses will be around £70 per month worse in April 2022 than prior to the pandemic.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has condemned the plans that come into force alongside a rise in National Insurance next year.
Nicola Lee, National Officer at the RCN, said: “We know that whilst some may benefit from these proposals, we also know others will not.
“These changes are being proposed just as they have had a real-term pay cut and will be coupled with the hit to their income with the National Insurance rise next year.
“We have been to the steps on Number 10 to tell the Prime Minister to deliver on a fair pay rise for nursing.
“He must now show he is listening and deliver a pay rise that recognises he skill and professionalism of nursing if he wants to avoid an exodus from a profession that already has tens of thousands of vacancies.”
Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth agreed, adding: “These high tax Tories are hammering hard working NHS staff again and again.
“Sajid Javid needs to stop burying his head in the sand and put in place a fair deal for NHS staff urgently.”