Group of unions for NHS staff – including nurses – vote to accept government pay offer

Politics

A group of unions representing NHS staff – including nurses – has voted to accept a pay offer from the government.

It comes despite the Royal College of Nursing and Unite rejecting the offer – as an electoral college of union representatives and members voted en masse as part of the NHS Staff Council.

Many other unions with members in the NHS, including Unison and GMB, had accepted the offer of a 5% rise plus a cash top up for the 2022/23 financial year.

This move paves the way for Health Secretary Steve Barclay to impose the deal across those signed up to the Agenda for Change pay scale.

But it does not necessarily mean industrial action will end, as there could still be opposition from unions to offers for the 2023/24 period.

A letter from GMB to Steve Barclay in the wake of the vote said: “The decision on the revised pay offer at today’s staff council meeting is a welcome first step in the long journey to dealing with the fundamental issues facing GMB’s NHS members, including in ambulance services.

“However, it is abundantly clear that unless significant action is taken on key issues, the problems facing our health service, and the people who work every day to save lives and keep the public safe, will remain.”

The Royal College of Nursing is set to re-ballot its members for a mandate to strike – which could precipitate action taking place up until Christmas.

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