Despite the pay rise, health unions have opposed the new figure, suggesting it doesn’t reflect the sacrifices made by staff.
The government has announced that nurses and other NHS workers in England have been offered a three percent pay rise.
It has been awarded to staff “in recognition of unique impact of the pandemic" on all employees and the NHS, and comes after heavy criticism of proposals made by the Department of Health and Social Care back in March this year which stated only a rise of one percent was affordable.
The rise is for the majority of NHS staff including nurses, paramedics, consultants, dentists and salaried GPs and is backdated to April 2021.
According to government estimations, this will mean the average nurse will take home an additional £1,000 a year. Meanwhile, porters and cleaners will receive around £540.
‘We will back the NHS’
Commenting on the decision to increase the pay rise, Sajid Javid, health and social care secretary, shared that “NHS staff are rightly receiving a pay rise” that was “in recognition of their extraordinary efforts”.
“We will back the NHS as we focus our efforts on getting through this pandemic and tackling the backlog of other health problems that has built up. I will continue to do everything I can to support all those in our health service who are working so tirelessly to care for patients,” he added.
Investment in recruitment
Elsewhere, Helen Whately, minister for care, revealed that the government plans to continue to invest in recruitment and retention with over 45,300 more staff in the NHS now compared to a year ago.
She added: “Our NHS staff have worked incredibly hard to fight the pandemic for over 18 months and I’m glad to confirm we are accepting the pay review bodies’ recommendations in full this year, so staff in their remit will receive a three percent pay rise.”
Unions oppose pay rise
Despite the increase in the pay rise, some health unions have opposed the new figure, suggesting it doesn’t reflect the hard work and sacrifices made by staff, reported the BBC.
For example, the British Medical Association (BMA), which represents doctors, stated that the figure was disappointing and that junior doctors and some GPs could miss out on the rise.
The pay rise for healthcare workers comes after a public sector pay freeze for 2021-21, which was announced in November last year. However, exceptions were made for those on salaries under £24,000 and NHS staff.