Unite national officer for health Sarah Carpenter said: “At long last, after eight years of pay austerity, there has been a significant recognition that this harsh pay regime imposed on hard working and dedicated NHS staff can no longer be sustained.

“Unite welcomes many aspects of this deal, on which we will be consulting our membership over the next couple of months. However, we regard this as the start, not the end, of the journey for true pay justice for NHS staff, which we will campaign for with vigour in the coming months and years.

“It should be stressed that this is a fully-funded deal i.e. ‘new’ money, so it is not finance that is being taken away or diverted from cash-strapped NHS services.

“This is something, we believe, the government should have done a long time ago – and they should do so now for other public sector workers who have endured a similar rigid pay policy.

“We especially welcome the boost for the lowest paid in the NHS. It has been right to strongly focus on addressing the issues of those who are paid the least, but who have struggled the most to cope with the savage impact of austerity.

“In the first year of the three year deal, the vast majority of staff who are at the top of their pay band currently will see an increase of three per cent. Over the three years of the deal this will have a cumulative value for them of 6.5 per cent.

“For the staff progressing their career, the new career progression framework will mean they will see increases in excess of this figure.

“This is underpinned by increased starting rates for all new joiners to the NHS – at all grades.

“We hope that this package, hammered out after long and intense negotiations, heralds a new realistic pay dawn for NHS staff and goes some way to meet the recruitment and retention crisis in the health service.

“We also hope that it is a shot in the arm for staff morale, who never flinch in their duty to the sick and injured 24/7, 365 days-a-year.

“This pay package is England only at present, although funding is promised for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“Unite’s national health committee has discussed the deal and agreed to put it out for the members to decide, with the recommendation to accept. Our work is now to inform and consult our membership. They will be balloted during April and May, at the same time as other NHS unions.”
Unite has 100,000 members working in the health service.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065. Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.