New NHS pay deal for staff3rd August 2007
The government has proposed a new pay offer for NHS staff in England.
The government has faced fierce opposition to the idea to award the 2.5% pay rise in two stages, with health service workers threatening to take industrial action.
Following discussions with union heads, the Department of Health said they would offer lowest-paid staff additional pay and contribute towards professional fees for nurses and paramedics.
The new deal would give £400 to staff who receive the lowest rates of pay. Staff in bands 3 and 4 would be given £38 in addition to the agreed 2.5% pay award.
£14 million has also been set aside to be used for staff training.
Health secretary Alan Johnson said he believed the new offer would aid the lowest-paid staff with their career skills and training.
He stood behind the government's hard line on the two-stage pay award and commented: "It is only by prudent management of the economy that we have been able to make unprecedented investment in the NHS including the recruitment of 80,000 new nurses since 1997."
Health service union, Unison, stated that they would ballot their members to see if they wanted to accept the deal.
Mike Jackson, Unison lead negotiator, described the negotiation process as "long and tough." He said the deal would still be "below inflation" but that it would probably be the best deal the government would present.
Alastair Henderson, deputy director of NHS Employers, said: "We believe we have struck this balance and hope that the offer will now be accepted."
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Title: New NHS pay deal for staff
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 3619
Date Added: 3rd Aug 2007