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Wednesday 18 July 2018

Union members back three-year pay deal in England

By MiP

English currency in notes and coins

One million NHS workers in England, including thousands of MiP members, are set to receive their first meaningful pay rise in more than eight years, after members of 13 NHS unions voted strongly to accept the three-year pay deal negotiated earlier this year.

The £4.2bn settlement means most staff will receive pay rises of at least 6.5% over the next three years, plus a lump sum of up to £800, with transitional increases for staff below the top of the pay band. But MiP members at the top of bands 8D and 9 will see their total pay rises capped at 5.4% and 4.5% respectively.

The result of UNISON’s ballot, in which MiP members took part, saw 84% of members voting in favour of the deal. MiP had recommended that members accept the offer, despite strong reservations over the “unfair treatment” of senior staff.

Only a start

Welcoming the ballot results, announced on 8 June, MiP chief executive Jon Restell said: “This deal is only a start. Following the long-term funding settlement for the NHS, we will need to see sustained investment in pay and the NHS workforce. MiP endorsed the three-year deal with reservations about the capping of awards for, and the failure to invest in, faster progression for senior staff. We will keep returning to these issues.”

Restell said “the complexity of the deal, which includes increases at the top of the bands, elimination of points at the bottom of the bands, and transitional points in between, was inevitable, so it has been vital for each member to consider how the deal affects them personally”.

The first rises were seen in July pay packets, with back pay from 1 April expected to be paid with August salaries. Staff at the top of the bands – just over half the workforce – receive 3% from April, while staff at the bottom of pay bands move up one point, which is also revalorised. Staff on points in between receive a rise from April, with a second transitional payment due on their personal anniversary date. NHS Employers have published a comprehensive employers tool, which allows staff to calculate the pay due on both dates.

“No detriment”

UNISON head of health Sara Gorton confirmed a “no detriment” clause in the pay agreement meant no member of staff could be worse off under the new arrangements. “If anyone can find any example of a member that is worse off in pay they should contact their union rep as soon as possible – the member of staff is contractually entitled to not suffer any detriment,” she said.

Restell said he was proud that MiP had taken a full part in NHS pay negotiations for the first time. “We will carry on speaking up for managers and their valuable role in patient care,” he added. “Our focus now moves to securing parallel deals for members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – and for NHS directors in England, who are not covered by the Agenda for Change pay system.”

Full details of the pay settlement are available on the unions’ pay website nhspay.org. If you have any questions or concerns about your pay award contact your MiP national officer or MiP head office for advice.

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