The offer of a 3% NHS pay rise in England and Wales could spur Nurses to consider industrial action.
The Royal College of Nursing has said it would be consulting members, but staff were “angry” and believed they deserved a bigger increase. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the pay rise was a recognition of the “extraordinary efforts” of NHS workers.
The 3% pay rise is for most NHS staff including nurses, paramedics, consultants, dentists and salaried GPs and will be backdated to April 2021. According to government calculations for the average nurse, this will mean an additional £1,000 a year, while many porters and cleaners will receive little more than £10 extra per week.
This new offer comes after heavily criticised proposals made by the Department for Health and Social Care in March which said only a rise of 1% was affordable. At that time the independent NHS pay review body recommended a 3% rise, which was accepted by the government.
Patricia Marquis, England director of the RCN, said the whole process had been “shambolic” and nurses had “fallen way behind on pay”. She said:
“Our next steps will be to consult with our members about their view on the award, and once we have their view – we will then be considering with them what the next steps might be, which could include consideration of industrial action most certainly.”
She added that nurses were “really angry and upset” at the pay award, which the union says amounts to a pay cut once inflation is taken into account, and it made them feel they were not “valued for what they do”.
The RCN had called for a pay increase of 12.5%, which it said would go a long way to help fill vacancies and retain existing staff.