26 Mar 2021
NHS staff in the rest of the UK will be “bewildered” as they contrast the pay offer in Scotland with plans for the rest of the UK, the 14 NHS unions have told the Prime Minister.
The representatives of 1.3 million NHS workers have today (Thursday) written to Boris Johnson asking to meet with him and his officials to find a way forward.
Three weeks ago, the Department of Health and Social Care signalled its intention to award a 1% pay rise later this year following the outcome of the NHS pay review body, blaming the current state of public finances.
Today’s letter reminds the government of the public response to the 1% pay proposal and says the announcement sent an “extremely damaging message to NHS staff, at the worst possible time”.
The health unions highlight that the new financial year begins in one week – when a new pay deal should have been in place – and they accuse the government of “deliberately delaying” until the summer.
The letter, signed by the lead negotiators from on behalf of all 14 unions including the British Dietetic Association, says:
“When NHS staff in England contrast the Scottish offer with what you have proposed for them, they will feel increasingly bewildered by how you are choosing to treat them.
“One week today is the start of the new financial year when the most recent NHS deal will expire. Staff across the UK are expecting a new pay award to be in place for 1 April 2021, but your government has imposed serious delays to the process.
“Last July, we wrote to the Chancellor asking to begin early discussions between NHS unions and government on a well-deserved and significant pay award but these were not forthcoming. We entered the Pay Review Body (PRB) process in good faith and submitted our evidence at the start of this year. Yet the government has deliberately delayed its decision to June or July.
“When the UK government’s submission to the PRB came to light three weeks ago, you will recall the response from NHS staff and the public. The majority of people – irrespective of their political affiliation – believe the 1% NHS pay proposal to be unfair.
“As representatives of 1.3 million NHS staff, we urge you to reconsider your proposals urgently. At your recent Budget, and in the days since, you have demonstrated the government’s priorities for public expenditure lie elsewhere. In the middle of pandemic, this has sent an extremely damaging message to NHS staff at the worst possible time.
“On behalf of NHS staff, we are available to discuss this with you and your officials and help all sides to identify a new way forward at the earliest opportunity.”
Letter to PM