Union anger over 1% pay offer for health workers

U.K.

Health unions have attacked the government for offering a 1% pay increase to health workers – a figure that unions say will fail to keep pace with inflation and does nothing to compensate workers for the real term loss in pay over the past 10 years. The RCN nursing union is calling for a 12.5% increase for nursing staff which it underlines is crucial to deliver fair pay, recruitment, retention, and safe staffing. The GMB general workers’ union reveals the impact of pay freezes and below-inflation pay rises since 2010 that have effectively cut staff pay by anything from GBP 3000 (EUR 3500) to GBP 9000 (EUR 10500) a year. Public services union UNISON is calling for a GBP 2000 (EUR 2350) increase on annual pay for all health workers while the Unite union has a demand for a 15% pay rise or GBP 3000 (EUR 3500) whichever is higher. The unions have also welcomed the decision of the Welsh Assembly to make a one-off payment of GBP 735 (EUR 860) to all health and care staff which will be on top of any negotiated pay increase. The RCM, representing maternity staff, has called the 1% pay offer an insult and submitted evidence to back its call for a substantial increase for midwives and maternity support staff.

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