NHS Confirms Major Pay Rise To End Seven Years Of Wage Cap
More than one million NHS workers will receive a pay rise of a minimum 6.5 percent over the next three years, after a deal was accepted by 13 unions.
It was at the end of 2010 - after the financial crash of two years prior - that money-saving measures were first introduced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government under David Cameron, ushering in what soon widely became known as the age of austerity in Britain.
Among many other things, what that meant in real terms was a pay freeze across all government jobs, so that salaries wouldn't rise in line with inflation - effectively meaning that although NHS staff and the like would be earning the same amount of money, it would be worth less as prices went up because of inflation.
Now, though, it's been announced that members of 13 unions have reached a deal with NHS secretary Jeremy Hunt that will see a pay rise for more than a million NHS workers. The only NHS staff union to reject the deal was the GMB, who feel the deal still doesn't give NHS workers enough.
However, it means that more than a million NHS workers - including cleaners, nurses, physiotherapists, paramedics, midwives and radiographers - will see an increase in pay for the first time in almost a decade.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had previously revealed the NHS starting salary will rise from £15,404 ($20,600) to £18,040 ($24,200) by 2021, and that, depending on the role, the wage increase will be worth between 6.5 percent to 29 percent over the course of three years.
"Rarely has a pay rise been so well deserved for NHS staff who have never worked harder," he said.
Don't get too excited, though - bosses have warned that even these new pay rates might not keep up with inflation.
Staff on the lowest pay grade - such as hospital caterers, cleaners and porters - will get an immediate pay rise of more than £2,000 ($2,700) this year. That's a rise of between 11 percent and 13 percent, meaning that every NHS worker in England will be paid at least £8.93 ($12) per hour, 18p above the voluntary living wage of £8.75 ($11.70) per hour.
Currently, the deal applies to the 1.3 million workers who are on the Agenda For Change contract, which is most NHS staff save for dentists and doctors. At the moment it only applies to health workers in England, but is expected to be mirrored in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Featured Image Credit: PA