Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Jeremy Hunt congratulates NHS staff on a 'well deserved pay rise'

Jeremy Hunt congratulates NHS staff on a 'well deserved pay rise'

Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has publicly congratulated NHS staff after they "overwhelmingly" voted to accept changes to the agenda for change system and a multi-year pay deal.

The deal, which means an average 6.5% wage increase for staff, will be funded from a special £4.2bn allocation from central government, meaning that no funds will be diverted away from NHS services.

Now, though, it's been announced that members of 13 unions have reached a deal with NHS secretary Jeremy Hunt that will see a pay rise for more than a million NHS workers. "The care sector already suffers from high staff turnover and so pay there must be boosted if we are to prevent a nursing exodus for better paid jobs in hospitals and the community".

The unions met on Friday to report back on their individual consultations, with all but one getting support for the offer.

Staff on the lowest pay grade - such as hospital caterers, cleaners and porters - will get an immediate pay rise of more than £2,000 ($2,700) this year.

Every NHS worker in England will now be paid at least £8.93 an hour (18p above the real living wage of £8.75), or £17,460 a year if they work full-time.

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The chair of the RCN College Trade Union Committee, which was in favour of the deal, added: "We don't see this decision as the end of our fight for fair pay, but rather a good first step".

GMB officials will meet next week to decide their next move after members rejected the deal by nearly 9-1. Over 83,500 members voted in a turnout of around 30%.

At the moment it only applies to health workers in England, but is expected to be mirrored in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The unions whose members voted to accept the agreement are the British Association of Occupational Therapists, the British Dietetic Association, the British Orthoptic Society, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the Federation of Clinical Scientists, Managers in Partnership, Prison Officers Association, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing, the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, the Society of Radiographers, Unison and Unite.

'I hope this will also go some way to helping us recruit and retain more brilliant staff in our NHS'. "Salaries will increase from between 6.5 per cent and 29 per cent, with some of the biggest increases for the lowest paid".

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