Magazine article Public Finance

Unions Prepare for Fresh Action on Pay

Magazine article Public Finance

Unions Prepare for Fresh Action on Pay

Article excerpt

In renewed unrest over public sector pay, NHS unions have called for their three-year deal to be 'reopened', while teachers are waiting to find out whether they will join civil servants on strike.

A joint union submission to the NHS Pay Review Body on October 27 argued that 'reopener' clauses in the three-year pay deal signed this year must be activated amid rising inflation and concerns over staff shortages.

The deal sets out rises of 2.75% for the first year, 2.54% for the second and 2.5% for the third well below the 5.2% consumer price index, the government s preferred inflation measure.

The submission warned of looming staff shortages, with more than 25% of nursing students dropping out of their courses. It said: 'The rise in inflation and the impact on the cost of living, in particular food and fuel bills, as well as the cost of childcare, have meant that many students cannot afford to continue their training.

'With an already ageing population in the NHS workforce, this demographic time bomb needs to be averted by making working in the NHS not only attractive but financially viable. …

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