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Unions call for “substantial” pay award for NHS staff

31 October 2007

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NHS staff should be given a “substantial” above-inflation pay award in 2008-09, according to 14 trade unions.

They made the claim as they released details of a survey of 24,000 NHS workers which found that 60% have considered leaving the service in the past 12 months.

Kevin Coyne, head of health at Unite, said: “It is important to invest in and retain high-quality, highly-skilled staff and this should be reflected in the pay recommendation.

“Motivated staff are integral to improved service delivery and should be recognised and rewarded as such, not treated as a budgetary burden.

“Holding down pay will simply undermine the drive to improve services by decreasing morale and making it harder to attract and retain staff.”

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Karen Jennings, head of health at Unison, added: “This year we need a substantial, above-inflation pay rise just to put health workers back on an even keel. They are faced with mounting gas, water, electricity and housing bills – they cannot afford to take another pay cut.”

She claims the staff survey shows that there is still a degree of bitterness among NHS workers over this year’s below-inflation deal.

She said: “It is a disgrace that 60% are looking for work outside the NHS and the lesson to government is clear – NHS staff are angry.

“The government has the cure – bridge the pay gap and don’t interfere with the independence of the Pay Review Body.”


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