The one per cent recommended pay rise for health staff by the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) is ‘woefully inadequate’ and fails to staunch the continuing erosion of NHS incomes, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Tuesday 28 March).
Unite national officer for health Sarah Carpenter said: “What the PRB has proposed is woefully inadequate and means that the majority of NHS staff will have experienced a loss of income in real terms of about 17 per cent since 2010.
“This won’t staunch the recruitment and retention crisis currently affecting many healthcare professions, which is exacerbated by the ugly Brexit shadow hanging over the future of the estimated 55,000 EU nationals working for the NHS.
“Health secretary Jeremy Hunt often speaks warm words in support of NHS staff, but the reality is that he has been quite content to see this serious erosion in NHS pay continue – he has adopted this complacent attitude since taking up the health portfolio in 2012.
“Our members deserve so much more – and the public recognises this fact far more clearly than Tory ministers.
“Lurking in the background are the 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) for England which, we believe, are a subversive vehicle to privatise NHS services and this may have a severe impact on pay, and terms and conditions in the future.”
Chair of the trade union side of the NHS staff council and executive, Christina McAnea said: “It's a derisory amount in the face of soaring fuel bills, rising food prices and increasing transport costs.”
Unite has 100,000 members in the health service.
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