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Nurses' pay hope setback

9th July 2007

Nurses' unions had hoped that Gordon Brown's new cabinet government might reconsider pay rises - however the BBC "understands there will be no U-turn."

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After it emerged that pay would be the subject of a discussion on Monday 9 July between NHS Employers and negotiators, unions were hopeful of a reversal of attitude.

English nurses have threatened to take industrial action. They have been given a rise of 1.5% and are due to receive another 1.5% rise later this year. Nurses in Wales will receive a pay rise of 2.5%, as will their counterparts in Scotland.

The Royal College of Nursing will find out by the second week of July if their members want to vote on the possibility of industrial action. Unison will ask their 450,000 NHS members to vote unless the offer is improved.

Although nurses are not likely to stage a full strike, changes to rules in the mid-1990s mean they can refuse to do overtime.

The government has stated that the staging of pay rises is necessary because of the need to control inflation. Unions have objected to this and said £60m would be sufficient to pay all nurses now.

Unison national officer for health Mike Jackson said: "We very much welcome these last ditch talks to avert industrial action. Living costs have risen far faster than the paltry pay offer on the table and our health workers are underpaid as it is."

The BBC has said it "understands that the government will not be altering its stance despite the recent changes."




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Anonymous

Wednesday 25th July 2007 @ 15:12

The average salary for a nurse is higher than the average salary of a similarly qualified person in other industries, and not everyone gets a pay rise full stop let alone a 3% payrise albeit in 2 instalments. Unison are increasingly involved in stirring up the masses and in the public eye causing unrest in the NHS


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