A cap of 1% on pay means nurses will feel the squeeze even more

The Department of Health’s (DH) evidence to the independent NHS Pay Review Body (RB), published on January 16, argued that NHS nurses in England should receive a pay rise of only 1% for 2016/17.

The DH also said that the NHS pay award should not be targeted to ensure some professions or bands receive a higher than 1% increase.

It claimed that further increases are unaffordable and reaffirmed its intention to remove the automatic incremental pay progression in Agenda for Change (AfC) and link it more closely to performance.

This is despite the acknowledgment that pay satisfaction has dipped in recent years.

Picture credit: Daniel Mitchell

Health unions are not surprised by the submission after the announcement in chancellor George Osborne’s summer budget that from 2016/17 public sector pay increases will be funded at an average of 1% each year until 2019/20.

The last time that nurses received a pay rise greater than 1% was the 2.25% awarded in 2010.

Should pay restraint continue to be capped at 1% until 2020, nurses will have endured ten years of frozen