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Chancellor promises nurses a further pay rise in 2022

Budget 2021: nurses promised pay increase in 2022 after chancellor Rishi Sunak ended public sector pay freeze, but any rise must be meaningful, unions warn

Budget 2021: nurses promised pay increase in 2022 after chancellor Rishi Sunak ended public sector pay freeze, but any rise must be meaningful, unions warn

Nurses have been promised a pay rise next year after the chancellor ended the public sector pay freeze – but any increase must be meaningful, unions have warned.

The year-long pay freeze will come to an end in April 2022, paving the way for a possible wage increase for an estimated 5.6 million public sector staff.

Ending pay freeze is acknowledgement that nursing staff have been underpaid

Any potential increase for nurses will be announced next year, after the

Budget 2021: nurses promised pay increase in 2022 after chancellor Rishi Sunak ended public sector pay freeze, but any rise must be meaningful, unions warn

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will spell out his plans for public sector pay in the budget
Picture: Alamy

Nurses have been promised a pay rise next year after the chancellor ended the public sector pay freeze – but any increase must be meaningful, unions have warned.

The year-long pay freeze will come to an end in April 2022, paving the way for a possible wage increase for an estimated 5.6 million public sector staff.

Ending pay freeze is acknowledgement that nursing staff have been underpaid

Any potential increase for nurses will be announced next year, after the government responds to the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body for the 2022-23 pay round.

It comes as unions, including the RCN, are balloting members over the 3% pay award for this year.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said ending the pay freeze acknowledged that nursing staff have been underpaid, but said staff would be ‘unforgiving’ if next year’s pay award falls short.

‘Nursing staff deserve a pay rise that reflects their skill and dedication,’ she added.

Chancellor must allocate extra cash to fund wage rises or pay freeze continues in all but name

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said the pay freeze had sent a message that ministers ‘did not care’ about public workers.

‘If the chancellor doesn’t allocate extra money to government departments to fund the much-needed wage rises, the pay freeze will continue in all but name,’ she said.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the uncertainty of the pandemic led to the pay freeze being implemented in November 2020.

‘With the economy firmly back on track, it’s right that nurses, teachers and all the other public sector workers who played their part during the pandemic see their wages rise,’ he added.

What’s happening with nurse pay this year?

  • Nurses across Great Britain are being asked if they would be willing to take industrial action – including a strike – over the 3% pay award for 2021-22
  • The RCN has launched indicative ballots for ‘exhausted and demoralised’ members in Scotland and England, with a third ballot in Wales due to start on 4 November. The college, which has been campaigning for a 12.5% pay rise, says the ballot result will not formally authorise industrial action, but it will be used to decide the next steps in the pay campaign
  • The ballot in Scotland closes on 8 November, and on 30 November in England and Wales. No formal pay announcement has yet been made in Northern Ireland


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