NHS staff further disappointed as backpay fails to meet expectations

Workers have consistently failed to see any real terms rise in their wages. 

Ian Snug
21 August 2018

Staff say they have been left feeling ‘disappointed’ and ‘underwhelmed’ with the result of the NHS pay deal.

In June, following an extensive consultation period, NHS staff in England voted ‘overwhelmingly’ to accept the proposed changes to the agenda for change pay structure. Workers were promised the agreed rise would be backdated to April but many have expressed their ‘disappointment’ today after the three-month consolidated payment failed to meet expectations.


Following mandatory deductions such as tax, national insurance, and pension contributions healthcare staff in England are reporting an average take-home backpay of around £75 – a figure that has fallen significantly short of expectations.

No real-terms rise in wages.

Despite continued promises from healthcare unions that the rise would “ease the financial pressures on staff” workers have consistently failed to see any real terms rise in their wages.

Last month NHS staff took to social media after the 3% uplift in wages failed to materialise and it was announced that some unions had provided members with incorrect information.

Subsequently, Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursingissued a formal apology to members and yesterday Ms. Davies announced her departure from the RCN.  In September, the Royal College of Nursing will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) which is likely to call into the question the future of other key leaders within the organisation.


Unison denies any wrongdoing over the pay deal and states they “clearly differentiated between what would happen to staff at the top of bands and those below.”

‘The issue of NHS pay has been put to bed’.

Healthcare unions have previously celebrated the pay deal as a ‘step in the right direction’ for NHS staff. Speaking previously about the pay deal, Janet Davies said: “After today, the Government cannot assume that the thorny issue of NHS pay has been put to bed. This deal marks a step in the right direction but the bigger leap to truly fair pay still needs to be taken. It does give a genuine pay rise to over one million people from next month and that cannot be underestimated in challenging economic times.

Sara Gorton, Lead Health Union Negotiator and UNISON head of health, added: “The agreement won’t solve all the NHS’ problems overnight, but it will go a long way towards easing the financial strain suffered by health staff and their families over many years.

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