Following the majority union vote in favour of accepting the government’s pay offer at the NHS staff council today (Tuesday), ministers and employers must ensure health workers get their money as soon as possible, says UNISON.
UNISON head of health Sara Gorton, who chairs the union group on the NHS staff council, said: “NHS workers will now want the pay rise they’ve voted to accept. The hope is that the one-off payment and salary increase will be in June’s pay packets.
“But health staff shouldn’t have needed to take action in the first place. Unions made clear to ministers last summer that £1,400 wasn’t enough to stop staff leaving the NHS, nor prevent strikes. But the government wouldn’t listen.
“Proper pay talks last autumn could have stopped health workers missing out on money they could ill afford to lose. The NHS and patients would also have been spared months of disruption.
“This pay deal must be the start of something new in the NHS. There cannot be a repeat of the past few months. Everyone who cares about the NHS deserves better. That means improving the process that sets health worker wages.
“The NHS remains desperately short of staff too. Services can only cope with growing demand if there’s a properly resourced and well-supported workforce. Government must now work with unions to achieve just that.”