5 per cent pay rise offered to NHS staff

NHS workers in England including nurses and ambulance workers have been offered a 5 per cent pay rise from April.

Staff have also been offered a one-off payment of at least £1,655 to top up last year's pay award.

The offer applies to all NHS staff except doctors who are on a different contract.

Unions are recommending their members to support the deal. The Royal College of Nursing, Unison and the GMB, the three biggest unions are backing the deal. Unite the union will put it to a vote, saying it cannot recommend the deal to members.

Unison head of health Sara Gorton said: "It's a shame it took so long to get here.

"Health workers had to take many days of strike action and thousands more had to threaten to join them to get their unions into the room and proper talks under way."

RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen said: “The UK government was forced into these negotiations and to reopen the pay award as a result of the historic pressure from nursing staff. Members took the hardest of decisions to go on strike and I believe they have been vindicated today. 

“After tough negotiations, there are a series of commitments here that our members can see will make a positive impact on the nursing profession, the NHS and the people who rely on it. 

“Our members will have their say on it and I respect everybody’s perspective. Each should look closely at what it means for them.

“As well as the additional money now, we have made real progress with the government on safe staffing measures, a new pay structure for nursing, support for newly qualified staff and pensions too. 

“It is not a panacea, but it is real tangible progress and the RCN’s member leaders are asking fellow nursing staff to support what our negotiations have secured.”

Health secretary Steve Barclay said: "I hugely admire the incredible work of NHS staff.

"I look forward to continuing our work together to make the NHS a better place to work."