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NHS Workers Set to Get Pay Rise- When, How Much, and Is It Enough?

March 21, 2018, 12:00 PM
  • 6.5% rise over three years
  • Expected to be from July but could be sooner
  • Pay rise was briefly announced in the November 2017 Budget
NHS workers will find out today if a pay rise will be happening. Image: Getty

A deal to give NHS workers a 6.5% pay rise over three years is set to be agreed by the Government, which will mark the end of a seven-year wage cap for NHS workers.

This was briefly mentioned in the November 2017 Budget, when Mr Hammond said the nurses, “deserve our deepest gratitude” for the work that they do, but a pay rise would only happen is recommended by an independent panel.

Leaders of unions representing more than a million workers including nurses, midwives, ambulance drivers, porters, and other staff, will meet employers on Wednesday to finalise the increase.

Workers will have to be consulted but it is expected they will receive higher pay from July, backdated to April.

The deal covers NHS workers in England at a cost of around £4 billion, which is new money from the Government, rather than coming from existing budgets.

Money is expected to be made available for similar pay rises in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

The deal will be structured to give higher rises to the lowest paid workers.

Ministers have also dropped the controversial demand that NHS workers give up a days holiday in order to get the pay rise- which would have effectively cancelled out the increase.

NHS workers have been subjected to the Government’s controversial public sector pay cap for seven years, limited to an annual increase of no more than 1%, while the Government has been giving itself significant pay rises over this period.

The cap has affected other workers, including local government staff, and they will still be subject to the cap.

How much will the NHS pay rise be?

The pay rise will guarantee a rise of 6.5%, it is believed, with many getting more depending on whether they are low paid compared to their peers.

However, inflation is forecast to be 2.4% in 2018, 1.8% in 2019, and 1.9% in 2020.

So in real terms, there isn’t going to be much of a pay increase, and it will barely keep above inflation raises.

When is the NHS pay rise happening?

It is expected to be formally agreed on by unions and ministers today.

The raise should kick in from July, but pay could be backdated to April, so you’ll get the extra money from these months.

For Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, whose national governments can decide on NHS pay, it has not been announced whether they will follow suit with the pay rise.

Is it enough?

NHS workers haven’t seen a pay rise in seven years, and with inflation, it means that their real wages have fallen.

Although a pay rise sounds great on paper, it will just about keep up with inflation rates, so realistically will make a minor difference.

NHS workers in the Latest Deals community shared their thoughts on the pay rise.

Jo said, “I’m much worse off than seven years ago since the pay freeze! This isn’t enough to cover us.”

Linda said, “This is totally crap, we’ve effectively had pay cuts for years and this barely scrapes us out of it.”

One pointed out that the raise still leaves NHS nurses at a far lower pay rate than temporary agency nurses.

They said, “Agencies are paid nearly double the NHS wage, this pay rise goes nowhere near filling the gap.”

What do you think? Is the pay rise enough? Let us know in the comments.

AgnesFaludiover a year ago

They did not get pay rise for 7 years and now they give them 6.5%, that shows they get less than 1 percent pay rise per year. Probably most of them will fall into a higher tax category too, after it will happen and the next 3 years forecast on inflation is 6.1% which means they should receive at least double the amount, if they will not get anymore rise in the next years.

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