Magazine article Public Finance

Review Bodies Warned to Clamp Down on NHS Pay

Magazine article Public Finance

Review Bodies Warned to Clamp Down on NHS Pay

Article excerpt

The government is set to clash again with NHS unions over pay after recommending a below-inflation settlement for next year.

The Department of Health and NHS Employers, which represents local trusts, said the independent pay review bodies should agree on an increase not exceeding 2%.

But unions wanted a deal around the 4% mark to 'boost morale' after this year's staged pay award of 1.9%.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, chair of the British Medical Association Council, said the profession was being winning better pay through new GP and consultant contracts. The BMA is recommending an increase of between 3.6% and 4.3%.

Meldrum said: 'The government is losing the opportunity to reap the benefits of the new contracts. It would be completely unacceptable if, yet again, the annual pay review was used to claw money back from well-deserved new contracts.'

Peter Carter, the Royal College of Nursing's general secretary, said: 'By suggesting that the pay review body should award a mere 2% this year, ministers have ignored the facts, disregarded the evidence and failed to learn the lessons of the last pay dispute. …

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