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Is the 3-year 8% pay deal for NHS staff a good deal?

Is the 3-year 8% pay deal for NHS staff a good deal?

NO. I don't think this is a good deal. Eight percent makes quite an amazing headline and certainly fools the public. However, all is not what it first appears.
My understanding is that the most highly qualified and experienced nurses who take the most responsibility have been awarded a total of 7. 6% over three years.
A particular issue that is pertinent to my work is mileage payments. We are all aware of the huge price rises in petrol and diesel, except perhaps the PCTs who employ us! Our fuel allowance has not changed in years. The proposed pay rise really means very little - in fact over three years it amounts to a pay cut. Not such an attention grabbing headline.
Marie Rodie, District Nurse, Wiltshire PCT

NO. It's a good deal for the government as it will avoid the annual round of pay negotiations that can be lengthy and difficult and may also save the NHS money. Whether it will prove a good deal for staff seems unlikely, judging by the current rate of price rises. Nurses' pay is very important, beyond allowing them to live. It can also provide a sense of being valued or devalued by their employer, depending on the results of the annual pay round. In my view annual negotiation allows for discussion of any current situation as the world changes so fast. Unite will not be recommending acceptance of this three-year offer by its members.
Dr Cheryll Adams, Acting Lead Professional Officer, Unite/CPHVA

YES. Following last year's miserable pay award to nurses, the RCN is supporting the three year 8% offer made by the government. The RCN welcomes the security this gives to hardworking nurses who have to manage households as well as providing high-quality patient care and services. Most importantly, the RCN wishes to acknowledge that this pay deal will not be staged, as it was in 2007 and that compared to other public sector workers it is a good deal. During RCN Congress 2008 delegates voted to maintain the independent NHS Pay Review Body.
Lynn Young, Primary Healthcare Adviser, RCN

NO. We have been undervalued for long enough. We now have a profession that in some areas is so specialised that the nurses are actually seeing patients, treating them and discharging them from clinics that used to be run by doctors. We are the only profession that have to keep personal portfolios and maintain our training. We have had increases in our union subscriptions and for our professional body, the NMC, along with now having to pay to park at work. My daughter joined the police force and actually earned more than me even though I had been qualified for three years.
Personally I would not agree to this pay award. Of all the government sector employees we are consistently shortchanged, and it should now be put to the staff to agree these pay deals.
Jackie Glenister, Community Staff Nurse, Bedfordshire Primary Care Trust

What do you think? Is this a good deal? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"No. No. No to a three-year deal. Who knows what inflation will be next year. How much will we be paying for petrol/diesel to visit patients, and we all know that when fuel costs rise so does everything else. I am just about keeping my head above water with bills that are growing faster than my daughter! And that's just the point - we are not just nurses, we are parents, partners, people in our own right and if we don't fight for a decent pay rise we let down ourselves, our families and our profession. I am sick of other public sector workers like teachers and police having not only a much better salary, but also a far superior pay structure. Once again I feel let down by the RCN and will now be joining Unite, who seem to operate in the real world." - Elaine Egglestone, Glasgow

"No. I think it is about time the public realised that nursing is stressful with more and more responsibility. Why have medical staff got such a good deal ... because their union fought for it, that's why. So nurses should do the same." - Donald Macleod, Inverness