Health Secretary Alan Johnson has unveiled an improved NHS pay award in a bid to halt the threat of industrial action.
The government is refusing to budge on the staging of the 2.5% wage increase in England, but has announced a £52m package which it hopes will improve the situation.
Low-paid staff in pay bands 1 and 2 – mainly support staff currently earning between £11,782 and £15,107 – will be guaranteed an increase in salary of £400.
Those on bands 3 and 4 and will receive £38 as well as the 2.5% staggered rise, while all those in pay bands 5 to 8a will be given an additional £38 towards professional fees, and the staged increase.
Unison, the UK’s largest health union, will now ballot its members on whether they are ready to accept the deal.
The government has also agreed to hold talks with unions and employers before the next pay round to consider improvements to the Agenda for Change pay structure.
But Alan Johnson said: “Any potential multi-year deal would have to be good for staff, and represent good value for money for patients and the taxpayer, and be affordable for the NHS.
“It would also have to be non-inflationary, and consistent with the government’s current public sector pay policy.”
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