Time for Westminster to follow Edinburgh on NHS pay

Health workers in all parts of the UK deserve decent rise

The Prime Minister must now follow the good example set by the Scottish government and quickly find the money to give all health workers across the UK a decent pay rise, says UNISON today (Wednesday).

Earlier today, NHS workers belonging to UNISON and other health unions across Scotland voted overwhelmingly to accept a pay offer, which will see most staff receive at least a 4% pay rise.

Commenting on the news, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “NHS staff in every part of the UK have given everything through the worst days of the pandemic.

“Covid might be in retreat, but now it’s a different kind of pressure as health workers try to reduce the huge backlog of cancelled tests, appointments and operations that’s built up.

“The government in Edinburgh has shown it understands a world-class NHS is only possible with proper investment in staff. It’s high time the Westminster government acknowledged that too.

“Health workers across the whole of the UK deserve to have their ongoing efforts and dedication recognised. Staff in three of the four administrations can’t be left behind.

“Boris Johnson must do the right thing and unlock the cash so health workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland g​et the proper pay rise the public* wants them to have.”

Notes to editors:
 Last month health unions published opinion polling that found 60% of those questioned thought the 1% rise proposed by the Westminster government for NHS workers in England was too low. Two thirds (66%) said they would support the government making additional resources available for a pay rise for NHS staff, following the offer made by the Scottish government. The poll was carried out by Savanta ComRes who surveyed 2,144 UK adults between 23 and 25 April 2021. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all UK adults. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables here.
– A three-year deal for health workers expired on 31 March. They were due a pay rise at the beginning of April but are still waiting. The Westminster government’s evidence to the NHS pay review body proposed a 1% pay increase. The Prime Minister has told MPs to wait for the pay review body report and that the government won’t make a decision on pay until then. This means NHS staff are not likely to get a pay rise until July at the earliest
– 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.

Media contacts:  
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk