Unions urge PM to provide pay boost in depths of covid crisis

Health unions have written to the PM urging him to intervene and speed up the NHS pay review process. The letter from 14 unions, including UNISON, the RCN, and Royal College of Midwives says “hospitals are stretched to the limit”, with many “demoralised and traumatised” staff facing burnout, such is the pressure they’re under.

They are calling for a substantial pay rise – between 12.5% and 15% – to restore levels of pay, as rises have failed to keep up with inflation over the last decade, with the most experienced front line nurses seeing a real-terms pay cut of around £6144 per year.

The letter was sent on the final day for submissions to the NHS Pay Review Body, which advises the government on pay rises for the NHS. Staff are at the end of a three-year pay deal with a pay rise due in April, but the NHS Pay Review Body is not due to report until May, and the unions say, this will mean a pay rise is not likely to happen until July at the very earliest.

Full story in The Lowdown, 22 January 2021