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NHS Staff Receive Pay Rises as New Deal Takes Effect

More than one million NHS staff in England will start to receive increased salaries and one-off payments from today, Thursday 1 June, as the terms of the latest pay deal begin to take effect, the Government has said.

Eligible staff on the Agenda for Change contract – which includes nurses, paramedics, 999 call handlers, midwives, security guards, and cleaners – will receive a 5% pay rise, backdated to April. And as part of the deal, those eligible will also receive a one-off payment for last year and a so-called NHS backlog bonus for this year, the latter worth between £1,250 and £1,600. It comes after protracted pay disputes, with some NHS staff still threatening strike action.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay announced on May 2 that he was implementing the offer, after most health unions in England accepted the Government’s deal. But Unite members and those in the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) rejected it.

Mr Barclay said today: "More than one million of our hard-working NHS staff will begin to receive more money in their pay packet from today, including a backlog bonus for all their efforts during the pandemic.

"We hugely value the work of NHS staff and the vital role they’re playing to cut waiting lists, which is one of the government’s five priorities, and recognises the work they put in day in and day out."

The additional salaries and one-off payments will start to be paid from today, with individual employers in the NHS paying staff on different days.

Further Strikes From Nurses, Paramedics, and Junior Doctors

RCN members impacted by the deal are voting on whether to take further strike action, with the ballot due to close on June 23.

Unite members from across the Guy’s and St Thomas’ workforce, including nurses and other frontline workers, will stage a 24-hour strike on June 1 as they continue to oppose the deal. This will be followed by a strike by Unite members employed at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, including paramedics and call handlers, striking on 2 June for up to 7 hours from 2 pm.

In strike action relating to a separate dispute, junior doctors in England will walk out from 7 am on June 14.

RCN executive director for pay Colin Poolman said: "Our members have spoken loud and clear – their pay is far from fair and appropriate.

"It in no way matches the value or importance of nursing staff who have experienced a real-terms pay cut for the last decade." He added: "Nursing staff are fighting for their patients, and the very future of our NHS – not just for their pay.

Unite national lead officer Onay Kasab said: "The Government has nothing to crow about – the pay deal is yet another real-terms pay cut for over a million dedicated and skilled NHS staff.

"The deal does nothing to address the ongoing recruitment and retention crisis which is undermining the NHS and resulting in highly talented staff leaving in droves," Mr Kasab said. "It is for these reasons that Unite and other NHS unions rejected the deal and why we are escalating industrial action to ensure that the Government returns to the negotiating table and makes an offer that meets the needs of NHS staff."