The government has confirmed it will lift the 1% annual pay cap on public sector pay from 2018.
Downing Street has confirmed that the 1% pay cap for prison and police officers has been lifted and that there will be wider public sector pay rises from next year. The cap offer for the police and prison officers remains below the rate of inflation.
The government has said it will take the reports of independent pay review bodies under consideration and said there would be scope for “flexibility” over public sector pay rises from 2018-19.
But, this move doesn't guarantee NHS staff a pay rise as in March 2017 the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB), the independent body that provides recommendations to the government on pay, advised that the 1% pay cap be continued for NHS staff.
The Royal College of Nursing has made it clear that industrial action is on the table if the government fail to scrap the pay cap.
A Downing Street spokesperson added;
“We will continue to ensure that the overall package for public sector workers recognises the vital contribution they make and ensures they can deliver world-class public services, while also being affordable within the public finances and fair to taxpayers as a whole".
Janet Davies, RCN Chief Executive, said;
“This puts another nail in the coffin of the public sector pay cap but it must be scrapped in full. Today’s vague signals are not enough.
“Our campaign will not cease until there is concrete proof that the cap has been lifted explicitly for next year’s discussions on nurse and NHS pay.
“The Government has made a mockery of the independence of the Pay Review Body for too long.
“Tomorrow’s vote in the Commons is an opportunity for the Government to categorically state it has been lifted for nursing and other NHS staff. Ministers are holding their pay down and leaving professionals over £3,000 a year worse off - driving them out of health services and putting patient care at risk.”
She promised that campaigning against the cap will not cease until there is concrete proof that the cap has been lifted.