Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finally announced a higher pay rise for NHS workers in England.
Coming after a year-and-a-half on invaluable work for healthcare staff all across the country, and 100 days since a pay rise was actually due, NHS workers will officially receive a 3% pay increase.
This pay rise has been confirmed today (July 21) and will reportedly apply to all NHS staff, including paramedics, consultants, nurses, dentists and salaried GPs.
This also follows the government’s original 1% proposal, described as a ‘kick in the teeth’ by unions that had been lobbying for a £2,000 rise. The Royal College of Nursing also requested a 12.5% increase, and NHS staff in Scotland received a 4% rise earlier this year.
Announcing the pay rise, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said:
NHS staff are rightly receiving a pay rise this year despite the wider public sector pay pause, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts.
We asked the independent pay review bodies for their recommendations and I’m pleased to accept them in full, with a 3% pay rise for all staff in scope, from doctors and nurses to paramedics and porters.
This marks another recent U-turn for the British government after the earlier offer of 1% sparked a fierce public backlash.
It’s been almost a year since the Unison trade began campaigning for a pay increase. ‘It’s in Boris Johnson’s gift to grant staff a fair deal. Yet he’s still making them wait. It’s 320 days since Unison wrote to Boris Johnson asking for a £2,000 increase for every NHS worker, but health workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland still don’t know what they’ll get,’ its head of health Sara Gorton said.
‘Staff who’ve done so much during the pandemic are being treated as an afterthought while MPs head off on their holidays, and infections are rising which means pressure is piling back on the whole health team once again. The least the government can do is confirm now that staff will get a decent pay rise,’ she added.
Earlier this year, Jenny McGee, a nurse who looked after the PM when he was ill with COVID-19, resigned due to NHS staff ‘not getting the respect and now pay that we deserve. I’m just sick of it,’ she said, The Guardian reports.
Defending the 1% proposal, Johnson said the government was trying to ‘give them as much as we can at the present time’, while former health secretary Matt Hancock said it represented what’s ‘affordable’.
It’s anticipated the Royal College of Nursing will reject the 3% increase. It’s also unclear whether England’s junior doctors will be included in the deal, and if 1.5% of the rise will be added to salaries while the other half will be in a lump sum payment, as some experts predicted.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘We are incredibly grateful to all our NHS staff. This year the government has committed to providing NHS staff with a pay uplift, at a time when uplifts in the wider public sector have been paused. In doing so, the government is acknowledging the extraordinary effort of NHS staff through the pandemic.’
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Topics: News, Boris Johnson, COVID-19, NHS, Now, UK