Date: Friday 6 June 2008
NHS PAY OFFER ACCEPTED
UNISON members working in the NHS have voted to accept a multi-year
pay offer worth more than 8%. An individual postal ballot of 452,000
members working in the NHS saw 64.91% of those taking part, vote
to accept the three-year offer worth 8.1% - and more to some members.
A full range of health workers, including nurses, paramedics, occupational
therapists, porters, midwives, health care assistants, technical,
admin, cleaning, security and catering staff backed the deal.
This result means that UNISON and the RCN, the two largest NHS
unions, representing the overwhelming majority of NHS staff, have
now endorsed the multi-year agreement.
"UNISON gave all our health members the opportunity to make their
vote count and the ballot result shows what a tough decision it
has been," commented UNISON head of health, Karen Jennings.
"The 2.75% on offer this year is the best in the public sector
and the three-year deal offers stability. However, the rising costs
of everyday items such as food, fuel and energy obviously make members
wary about being locked into a three-year deal."
"That is why we negotiated a re-opener clause that we will not
hesitate to trigger if inflation continues to rise.”
"We know that a number of small health unions have voted against
accepting the offer and we will be making it a priority to meet
with them and discuss a way forward."
The two-thirds ‘Yes' vote in the ballot represents a solid vote
for acceptance in the most representative test of opinion across
the NHS workforce, as a result of a full postal ballot of the union
with the largest membership across all grades and professions.
But the union also recognises that a third of members in the ballot
voting against the package reflects the anxiety felt about increasing
food and fuel prices.
The union warned the government that UNISON members will not tolerate
a below-inflation increase next year, and if inflation continues
to go up rather than down, UNISON will trigger the re-opener clause
for year two.
Members can expect to see the money from this pay rise in their
pay packets in July.
Summary of the Offer
The offer gives 2.75% in the first year.
In year 2, it gives 2.54%. It also establishes for all NHS staff
a new minimum wage of £6.77 an hour in that year that is 18% higher
than the statutory rate. Those on the lowest point will receive
an increase of 5.7%.
In the third year the proposed deal gives 2.5%. It includes a flat
rate increase of £420 (worth 3.17% at the lowest point) for the
bottom three grades.
Nurses, midwives and paramedics on the main grade 5 and the bottom
of grade 6 will receive extra money on top of the basic increase
from the second year, to recognise that more than a quarter have
reached their pay ceiling. Full details at: http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/B3896.pdf
UNISON Scotland Healthcare