Scotland and Northern Ireland agree to 1% pay rise for NHS staff

Governments join England in accepting pay review body advice, but Wales is still considering recommendation

The Scottish and Northern Irish governments have joined England in agreeing to award NHS staff a 1% pay increase in 2016-17.

They accepted the recommendation of the independent NHS pay review body (RB) that all staff receive the award.

As RCNi reported earlier today, the Department of Health (DH) in England has also agreed to the recommendation. The Welsh government is still considering the RB's advice.

A DH spokesperson told Nursing Standard that all staff on Agenda for Change contracts will receive the 1% rise, and it will not be targeted so that some workers receive a bigger increase than others.

The Treasury has previously said it can only afford an average public sector pay rise of 1% per year until 2020.

The RB's report, published today, addressed staff shortages across the NHS and called on the DH and Health Education England to monitor the impact of removing the student bursary on the number of nursing degree applications, numbers entering the profession and the quality of students. 

The report said pressures within the NHS are high and, along with low pay awards, serve to make many staff feel undervalued. It recommended each of the four countries develop a strategic national workforce framework with local level flexibility. 

The RCN, Unison and Unite unions all expressed disappointment at the level of the award.

RCN general secretary Janet Davies said while it was encouraging the government had accepted the RB recommendations, the college would continue to fight for nurses and healthcare assistants to receive fair pay.

‘Restraining pay while demand increases and there is a continuing staff shortage is a false economy,' she said. 

‘More and more nurses and healthcare assistants are being forced to consider their future in the profession that they love.’

Read the RB report here



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