Major step towards end of NHS strikes as government and unions agree pay offer

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NHS unions and ministers have hit out at a new pay offer for frontline staff, which could spell an end to walkouts by nurses and paramedics.

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The government and the NHS Staff Council – which represents nurses, ambulance staff and other NHS staff – reached a consensus after weeks of talks and months of strike action.

came after success Granthshala It is learned that ministers will introduce a 5.2 per cent pay rise from April after originally saying they could not go higher than 3.5 per cent.

The proposal also includes two one-time bonuses for this year, an issue that has been at the center of controversy. The proposal covers all NHS staff except doctors, who are on a separate contract. The junior doctor went out for three days earlier this week.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said he was “very pleased” that a formal offer would be made to members, adding that both sides were “engaged constructively”.

The three biggest unions – the GMB, Unison and the Royal College of Nursing – said they would advise staff to accept the new offer after it is voted down.

It came like this:

  • Unions welcome the proposal, saying they have been “proven” after months of walkouts
  • Questions were raised about how the move would be funded after Jeremy Hunt failed to pledge any money to the NHS in his budget.
  • A union involved in widespread strikes said success could pave the way for resolving other disputes with the government
  • Junior doctors have written to Mr Barclay offering to meet with him to discuss pay after he rejected a petition to stop the strike last week
  • Ambulance members of Unison and Unite called off next Monday and physiotherapists strike later this month
  • A former Tory health secretary blamed the Sunak government for many months of avoidable “pain, discomfort and inconvenience” for NHS patients

Granthshala It was revealed on Thursday morning that unions had been offered a 2 per cent one-off pay award for all staff for 2022-23, plus a second “Covid recovery bonus”, up from 1.5 per cent for the highest paid It will be up to 6.2 percent. Percent for lowest.

Under the proposal for 2022-23, a new nurse working in pay band 5 would receive a one-off payment of £1,891, £1,934 or £2,009, Granthshala Understand. This band will then see an increase in annual pay for 2023-24 to £1,352, £1,459 or £1,647.

The second part of the proposal is a pay hike of 5 per cent for 2023-24. The government has also promised a range of “non-pay measures” to support the NHS workforce.

Junior doctors protest outside St Mary’s Hospital in London on Tuesday


In a statement, the NHS Staff Council, which includes the RCN, Unison, GMB, Unite, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the BDA, said the proposal represented “a fair and appropriate solution”.

Sarah Gorton, head of health at Unison, said: “It’s a shame it took so long to get here. But after several days of intense talks between the government, unions and employers, a proposal has now been put forward for NHS staff ”

GMB national secretary Rachel Harrison said the government was looking at giving an extra £2.5 billion this year rather than refusing to talk about pay.

She said the offer was “not quite right”, but added: “GMB members should be proud of themselves. It has been a difficult road but they have taken on the Department of Health and achieved a resolution that we feel This level can be achieved through dialogue.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said: “It is not a panacea, but it is real, tangible progress.” Dr Susan Tyler of the Royal College of Midwives described it as “a good deal won by unions through the power of collective action”.

Unite, which represents paramedics, said it was not recommending the proposal to its members, who will still vote on the proposal.

The British Medical Association also welcomed the invitation to discuss pay and suggested a fresh meeting with the government on Friday. The BMA, whose junior doctor members went on strike earlier this week, said talks should have started months ago.

Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy, whose public sector employees also staged a walkout this week, said the proposal “could provide a template for opening disputes elsewhere in the wider public sector”.

Striking ambulance workers in February


He said members would be closely watching what the government has to offer and would expect ministers to have “an equally active dialogue” with them.

But questions have been raised about how the proposal will be funded, with further discussions taking place between the DHSC and the Treasury. Asked for details, Mr Barclay insisted it would not come at the expense of patients.

“Obviously how these things are funded is a matter for the chancellor,” he said. “We have been very clear in terms of the discussions we have had with the trade unions, this will not happen from the patient-facing aspects.”

Rishi Sunak also insisted that frontline services would be affected “absolutely not” by the pay deal. Pressed by broadcasters during a tour of a south London hospital over whether patient care would be affected, the prime minister said: “We’re going to make sure we’re protecting all frontline services.”

But IFS senior research economist Ben Zaranko said there was a risk the NHS would be forced to make “heroic efficiency savings” to absorb the costs.

“From what we know at the moment, it is unclear whether the Treasury will ultimately provide the necessary funds to cover the cost of this deal. If it does, it will be long before the ink dries on the spending plans contained in this week’s budget.” There will be a material change,” he said.

Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive of NHS Providers, said the pay offer was an “extremely positive development”.

On funding for the deal, he said: “We are very encouraged by the Government’s guarantee that there will be no impact on frontline services or the quality of care for patients as a result of this proposal.

“We take this to mean that the deal is fully funded, taking money from key services, rather than relying on raids on the NHS budget. This is vital to the success of the deal.”

He said progress on dialogue between the government and junior doctors needed to be “matched by an immediate agitation”.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, warned that any extra money for salaries should come out of the Department for Health and Social Care’s central budget rather than hospital bottoms because their funds are “already very tight”.

he told BBC Radio 4 world at one The programme: “It would be completely unimaginable that the money for this year’s bonus comes from the budgets of trusts and systems in the NHS. We just don’t have that much money.

Former Tory health secretary Stephen Dorrell welcomed news of the pay offer – but told Granthshala: “Months ago it was clear that the strike would put enormous pressure on the NHS, but the government has allowed the dispute to continue.

“This deal was available for five months – why didn’t they do it? If Steve Barkley had sat down with health union leaders on the day he was appointed they could have avoided substantial disruption to the NHS, disruption to patients’ lives and disruption to staff’s lives It was an avoidable crisis.

He added: “Apart from the possible cases of avoidable mortality, there are undoubtedly many cases of extended pain, discomfort and deep discomfort to people as a direct result of ministers not confronting this issue five months ago. And they did so unnecessarily.” has increased the care backlog.

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting dubbed Mr Barclay “the last minute dot com”. He said he hoped the pay offer would end the disruption to the NHS, but added: “Where we are today is where we could be before Christmas.”

Mr Streeting pressed ministers to resolve other health strikes, saying the government “now only has junior doctors left to go”.

Lib Dem health spokeswoman Daisy Cooper said: “It should never have taken weeks of strikes to get to where we are today, but the government’s incompetence and obstinacy have left patients and staff at their wit’s end.

“Now the government needs to step in to end all further strikes and offer fair wage deals.”

The strike by nurses and ambulance workers was put on hold two weeks ago after the government agreed to begin negotiations over wages. Talks have taken place throughout the week between the unions and the government.

Major step towards end of NHS strikes as government and unions agree pay offer

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