No pay rise for NHS workers in next week’s Budget

The most experienced front-line nurses are £6144 per year worse off due to wages failing to keep up with the rate of inflation (RPI).

Matt Bodell
26 February 2021
Nurse pay bills

Poor pay is having a negative impact on patient care through a chronic shortage of staff.

There will be no pay rise for NHS workers in the next weeks Budget, according to senior Government sources.

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Senior Treasury sources told The i Newspaper that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will not make a decision on an NHS pay rise until after the independent Pay Review Body’s report arrive on his desk in May.

Figures instead suggest that over the past decade the most experienced front-line nurses are £6144 per year worse off due to wages failing to keep up with the rate of inflation (RPI).

Unions have been calling upon the government since June last year to provide adequate pay rather than empty thanks by giving staff an immediate rise of between 12.5% and 15%.

In stark contrast, Scotland has committed to giving its workers an immediate £500 bonus alongside 1% while pay negotiations are ongoing.

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Nurses United UK say poor pay is having a negative impact on patient care through a chronic shortage of staff.

No claps or badges – just pay us fairly.

Anthony Johnson, lead organiser for the grassroots campaigning group, responded to the news; “Every nurse knows that we’re struggling on the ground. Our colleagues are leaving or retiring in droves. There is always gaps in the rota, even before COVID-19.

“It is time to step up, build up networks with our colleagues and send a message to this Government. Enough is enough.”

Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), added; “Nurses have put their lives on the line every day of the pandemic to provide professional care to their patients.

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“If the Government continues to drag its heels on paying nursing staff what they’re worth, it will be shocking to all health and care staff. We don’t want claps, or medals or pin badges – just pay us fairly for the tough job we do.”

Sara Gorton, head of health at Unison, concludes; “Money must be found to deliver it in the Budget on Wednesday. This can’t be allowed to drag on endlessly into the summer. The public expect NHS workers to be recognised and rewarded without delay for the risks they face in keeping the country safe.”

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