The government and NHS unions have reached an agreement over a long running dispute over pay. The development means future strikes planned by the unions have now been paused to allow members a vote on whether to accept or reject it.
A joint statement from the NHS Staff Council and the government reads: “The Government and the NHS Staff Council – which brings together NHS employers and unions representing the Agenda for Change workforce – have completed negotiations and reached a final offer.
“This includes additional pay for 2022/23 and a pay settlement for 2023/24. Both sides believe it represents a fair and reasonable settlement that acknowledges the dedication of NHS staff, while acknowledging the wider economic pressures currently facing the UK.
“Those unions with mandates for industrial action – RCN, Unison, GMB, CSP, Unite and BDA – will now consult their members in consultations that will be held over the coming weeks. Strike action will continue to be paused while these ballots are ongoing.”
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said a newly qualified nurse would receive over £1800 this year on top of a pay rise of over £1300 next year. He said: "We have listened to the concerns of the trade unions, we’ve had meaningful discussions with them, both sides have engaged constructively.”
Royal College of Nursing (RCN) general secretary Pat Cullen described the agreement as “real, tangible progress”.
“The Government was forced into these negotiations and to reopen the pay award as a result of the historic pressure from nursing staff. Members took the hardest of decisions to go on strike and I believe they have been vindicated today.
“After tough negotiations, there are a series of commitments here that our members can see will make a positive impact on the nursing profession, the NHS and the people who rely on it. Our members will have their say on it and I respect everybody’s perspective. Each should look closely at what it means for them.
“As well as the additional money now, we have made real progress with the Government on safe staffing measures, a new pay structure for nursing, support for newly qualified staff and pensions too. It is not a panacea, but it is real, tangible progress and the RCN’s member leaders are asking fellow nursing staff to support what our negotiations have secured.”