​Health workers increasingly concerned at continued government stalling on NHS pay   

Sara Gorton says it’s more than 100 days since staff were due rise

More than 100 days after health workers ​were due a wage rise, and almost 11 months since UNISON appealed to Boris Johnson ​to grant them a £2,000 increase, ​the government has yet to deliver, says the union today (Saturday).

​Health staff are ​increasingly worried that ​the government won’t announce an NHS pay rise before ​MPs disappear next week for their six-week summer break, says UNISON.

​It’s now been three weeks since ministers received the ​NHS pay review body ​(PRB) ​report and the delay is making health workers feel like an afterthought, the union added.

Given that the government had recommended a mere 1% pay rise to the PRB, there is real concern that ministers might be dragging their feet over NHS pay to evade scrutiny in the ‘end of term’ parliamentary scramble, says UNISON.

Signatories to an open letter launched by UNISON from health workers calling on the Prime Minister to pay up have now passed 30,000.

NHS staff are bewildered as to the reasons for delay, especially as it’s now 107 days since the beginning of April when their wage rise was due.

In May, health workers across Scotland accepted a pay rise from the government in Edinburgh that’s worth at least 4% for most staff.

But their colleagues elsewhere in the UK won’t get a penny until Boris Johnson decides what to do following the NHS pay review body’s advice, says UNISON.

UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “It’s in Boris Johnson’s gift to grant staff a fair deal. Yet he’s still making them wait.

“It’s 320 days since UNISON wrote to Boris Johnson asking for a £2,000 increase for every NHS worker. But health workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland still don’t know what they’ll get nearly eleven months on.

“Staff who’ve done so much during the pandemic are being treated as an afterthought while MPs head off on their holidays. And infections are rising which means pressure is piling back on the whole health team once again.

“The least the government can do is confirm now that staff will get a decent pay rise.”

Notes to editors:  
– UNISON submitted evidence to the NHS PRB in support of a 2k pay claim, where each pay point would be increased by a minimum of £2,000.
– 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 contact:  
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk