Stakes too high and pressures too great to delay NHS pay rise

Staff need decisive government action now

Responding to the NHS Confederation report NHS Reset: A New Direction For Health And Care issued today (Tuesday), UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“This report highlights the immense pressures the NHS is under. But it stops short of calling for an early and significant pay rise for all NHS staff. This would quite simply make the world of difference.

“Years of falling employee numbers, increasing workloads and under-investment have left health workers on the brink – and that was before the pandemic struck.

“A wage rise this year, of at least £2,000 to all staff, will help keep skilled workers in their jobs and attract many much-needed new recruits.

“There’s no time for dither or delay. The stakes are too high and the challenges too great for anything less than decisive government action now.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is calling for an early pay rise of at £2,000 for all NHS staff. This would cost around £2.8bn in England (plus additional spending in the devolved administrations).
– According to UNISON/Savanta ComRes polling published in July, a majority of the public (69%) think all NHS staff should get an early pay rise. Two thirds (66%) of the public believe a wage increase for employees should be significant in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. An overwhelming majority (85%) believe pay should increase.
– Agenda for Change staff in the NHS are currently covered by a three-year pay and reform deal, due to end on 31 March 2021.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

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