Three-year pay deal for health workers

Trade unions, National Health Service (NHS) employers and the Department of Health for NHS staff have agreed a pay package for health workers worth 7.99% over three years.

The deal includes a 2.75% increase in pay for NHS staff in 2008/09, and would also include a rise of 2.4% in 2009/10 and 2.25% in 2010/11.

The deal will offer all NHS staff a new minimum wage of £6.77 per hour from 2009/10. This is 18% higher than the statutory rate.

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The deal also includes the opportunity to re-open talks should the economic situation change or should the NHS have difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff.

Karen Jennings, head of health at public sector union Unison, said: “The proposed deal does offer pay stability over the next three years. We will be asking our executive to consider recommending this deal to members as a well-balanced package in the forthcoming consultation.”

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, added: “Nurses can now focus on doing what matters most, delivering high quality of patient care, safe in the knowledge they have some degree of security over their household finances in the coming years.

“We have long argued that fair pay and decent conditions are vital to keep experienced nurses in the profession, while attracting much needed new blood. Given the uncertain economic climate and the government’s tough public sector pay policy, this package worth 7.99% over three years, is better than expected and goes some way towards bridging the gap between nurses’ pay and other public sector workers.”