It’s been announced over one million NHS workers in England will receive a three-year pay deal worth 6.5 per cent, after a deal was struck up between unions and the government.
The news will be welcomed by nurses, paramedics, midwives, cleaners, security guards and emergency call handlers, up and down the country as every NHS worker in England will now be paid at least £8.93 an hour.
This new deal will be 18p above the real living wage of £8.75 and will amount to £17,460 per annum for a full-time worker.
In other welcomed news, which will no doubt be a delight for workers, £18,005 will become the lowest full-time salary in the health service by 2021.
This will be made possible with an extra £4.2 billion of government funding, reports The Sun.
For hospital workers, such as caterers, porters, administrators and other staff on the lowest grades of pay, it means they can now look forward to a wage rise of more than £2,000 this year – an increase of at least 11 per cent.
The Department for Health first made this offer in March, according to reports, and since then, over around three months, 14 different unions have been asking NHS staff whether they want to accept it or reject it.
The results of the consultations which took place today (June 10) saw the health workers vote overwhelmingly to accept the new deal.
It’s thought NHS staff will now get the money in their July pay packets, backdated from April.
The Health and Social Care Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said:
This is an incredibly well-deserved pay rise for staff who have never worked harder.
Salaries will increase from between 6.5 per cent and 29 per cent, with some of the biggest increases for the lowest paid.
I hope this will also go some way to helping us recruit and retain more brilliant staff in our NHS.
However, UNISON’s Sara Gorton, who commented on the pay deal, said:
The agreement won’t solve all the NHS’ problems overnight, but it will go a long way towards easing the financial strain suffered by health staff and their families over many years.
Ms Gorton continued:
The lifting of the damaging one per cent cap on pay will come as a huge relief for all the employers who’ve struggled for so long to attract new recruits and hold onto experienced staff.
Josie Irwin from the Royal College of Nursing added:
Today’s deal gives a much-needed pay rise to over a million people and, at a time when there are 40,000 unfilled nurse jobs in England alone, it should help to make the profession more attractive to current and future nurses alike.
In regards to mental health, although real progress has been made recently as to how patients are treated, the UK is still unable to cope with the scale of the crisis.
The stigma surrounding mental health is being broken down, as the subject has increasingly become a part of everyday conversation.
Although this new and improved attitude is encouraging more and more people to seek help for their problems, they find themselves being let down by a system failing to provide help.
According to Mind, the harsh reality is one in four people in the UK will experience some form of mental health problem every single year, meaning there are potentially millions of people who are going to both the NHS and private healthcare services for support.
Unfortunately, many of these people are failing to get the proper help they need, especially due to the long waiting lists.
Hopefully, with extra funding being made available for the workers, the NHS will see another injection for how to deal with the growing number of those who suffer with mental health problems.
— Mind (@MindCharity) December 6, 2017
As well as the pay increase for the NHS workers in England, extra funding will also be made available for health budgets in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, allowing pay negotiations to take place for health workers there.
It’s definitely a step in the right direction!
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A sports enthusiast with a BA (Hons) in Sports Journalism, who can be found predominantly at Villa Park. Having completed a Masters in Broadcast Journalism, she then went on to work at Sky Sports, the BBC, and the Mirror. When not engrossed in sport, it’s animals, guitars, and Liam Gallagher which take main focus.