england’s nhs staff council approves a 5% pay rise
NHS Employers and the NHS Staff Council have agreed to a 5% pay increase for 2023-24 and a non-consolidated payment for this year.
The non-consolidated payment for 2022-23 was between £1,655 and £3,789, 8.2% for the lowest pay band and 6% for nurses, midwives, and others on Band 5 of the Agenda for Change. In September 2022, English NHS staff received £1,400.
Next year, the lowest-paid NHS England employees will receive a 5% rise worth at least £1,065, raising their hourly rate to £11.45 or £22,383 per year.
The pay deal will affect over one million NHS workers. NHS Scotland staff reached a pay deal in March 2023. Welsh union members are considering a revised pay offer.
The NHS requested that the government implements the pay offer, including the lump sum for 2022-23 and the new 2023-24 pay rates, in June salaries so employees can benefit immediately.
The NHS Staff Council unions reached a majority agreement, but Unite and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have threatened further strike action.
“Despite this result, nobody can deny the scale of longstanding and mounting pressures facing staff, frontline services, and the quality of care that they can give,” said NHS Providers chief executive Sir Julian Hartley. Remember that today’s union votes were not unanimous, reflecting NHS staff’s strong feelings.
“To tackle chronic staff shortages, we need a sustainable, long-term workforce plan, fully cost and fully funded, with a clear vision of how enough staff will be recruited and retained to meet the ever-increasing demand.”
So, while the NHS Staff Council outcome is very positive news overall, it is not the line in the sand that will allow the NHS and those relying on its care, to confidently move on from the threat of future strikes, or from the underlying issues affecting the NHS that led to this activity being felt as necessary’, said NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor.
“The decision by the NHS Staff Council Trade Unions to accept the pay offer they agreed with the government is very positive,” said NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer. NHS leaders will welcome it because their teams will receive more money than last year and at least 5% more this year. It also commits employers and unions to improve NHS staff retention, career development, and violence protection. We await confirmation from four unions that rejected the pay deal for their members. However, all unions, whether they voted to accept the deal or not, and NHS leaders remain concerned about the cost of living for their members and colleagues and the current challenges facing their patients and communities. The NHS workforce plan allows the government to demonstrate its commitment to staff numbers and development and for employers to redouble their efforts to improve NHS workplaces. Employers will work with unions and the government to address these concerns and implement what we hope will be an ambitious and far-reaching plan for our people and patients.
“NHS workers will now want the pay rise they’ve voted to accept,” said Unison head of health and NHS Staff Council union group chair Sara Gorton. The one-time payment and salary increase should be in June’s paychecks. Health workers shouldn’t have had to act. Last summer, unions told ministers that £1,400 wouldn’t prevent NHS staff from leaving or striking. The government ignored it. Proper pay talks last autumn could have prevented health workers from losing money they could ill afford. “The NHS and patients would have avoided months of disruption. This pay deal must change the NHS. Past months cannot be repeated. All NHS supporters deserve better. That means improving health worker wage-setting. NHS staff shortages persist. A well-resourced and supported workforce can handle rising demand. That requires government-union cooperation.”