Pay proposal is the ‘best possible deal’, says Chief Negotiator

The Royal College of Nursing's Chief Negotiator, Josie Irwin, has said the proposed deal is 'the best possible deal'.

The Royal College of Nursing's Chief Negotiator and Associate Director of Employment Relations, Josie Irwin, has admitted that the proposed pay deal, which will see an average increase in NHS wages of staff by 11%, is the best possible deal in the current economic climate.

Following the pay announcement, Ms Irwin went on to tell the NursingTimes she thinks the deal “is the best possible deal we could negotiate given the current climate“.

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Ms Irwin added she hopes union members would welcome the deal as “One of the things we have tried to do with this deal is ensure that our members – nursing staff – feel valued,”

The proposed £4.3 billion deal is fully funded by the Treasury meaning NHS trusts will not have to find the money themselves.

In January, Ms Irwin warned that the 1.3 million NHS staff need be “realistic” about negotiations.

But, many have criticised the pay deal with in which the majority of staff will see a sub-inflation rise and a cut to some agenda for change rights.

Nursing activist are union members reject the deal and instead push for a ballot on strike action.

Lors Allford, Chair of RCN Trade Union Committee, said: “This is the best pay deal in eight years from a Government that is still committed to austerity. Failure to accept it will put us back at square one, and at risk of returning to the 1% pay rises we’ve fought so hard to overturn.

“This is our chance to lock in a pay deal for three years, that not only guarantees our members will get more money, but simplifies the pay structure so that they get recognised for their increasing skill and experience quicker. It provides certainty at a time of great political and economic uncertainty and I urge our members to accept it.”

Twelve trade unions have supported the deal with only the GMB advising its members to reject the deal.

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