NHS workers must now get their money as soon as possible, says UNISON

Following the majority union vote in favour of accepting the government’s pay offer at the NHS staff council today (Tuesday), ministers and employers must ensure health workers get their money as soon as possible, says UNISON.

UNISON head of health Sara Gorton, who chairs the union group on the NHS staff council, said: “NHS workers will now want the pay rise they’ve voted to accept. The hope is that the one-off payment and salary increase will be in June’s pay packets.

“But health staff shouldn’t have needed to take action in the first place. Unions made clear to ministers last summer that £1,400 wasn’t enough to stop staff leaving the NHS, nor prevent strikes. But the government wouldn’t listen.

“Proper pay talks last autumn could have stopped health workers missing out on money they could ill afford to lose. The NHS and patients would also have been spared months of disruption.

“This pay deal must be the start of something new in the NHS. There cannot be a repeat of the past few months. Everyone who cares about the NHS deserves better. That means improving the process that sets health worker wages.

“The NHS remains desperately short of staff too. Services can only cope with growing demand if there’s a properly resourced and well-supported workforce. Government must now work with unions to achieve just that.”

Notes to editors:
– The non-consolidated payment for 2022/23 is worth between £1,655 and £3,789 to health workers in England. This is equal to 8.2% for the lowest paid and around 6% for nurses, midwives and other colleagues on band 5 of Agenda for Change. It is in addition to the £1,400 NHS staff received for 2022/23 last September. The 2023/24 wage rise of 5% is worth at least £1,065 and would raise the lowest hourly rate in the NHS in England to £11.45 an hour, or £22,383 a year.
– In Scotland, UNISON members have voted to accept the Holyrood government’s latest pay offer. A revised offer covering 2022-24 is now out for consultation with union members in Wales. NHS staff in Northern Ireland have only just received the £1,400 paid to their English colleagues last September. The hope is that developments in England will prove enough to unlock the ongoing dispute there.

Media contacts:
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk
Sophie Goodchild M: 07767 325595 E: s.goodchild@unison.co.uk