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Potential Nursing pay deal agreed

Nursing unions and the Department of Health have reached a potential deal with regarding pay.

For some health unions, including the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) this means that Thursday's strike action has been postponed.

The offer includes a consolidated 1% payment for all staff up to Band 8B; an additional £200 consolidated payment for lower paid staff (pay points 3-8); the first point on the pay scale to be abolished and the second raised to £15,100.

There is also a commitment from the Government to the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) and that the NHSPRB will continue to make future recommendations on pay uplift for NHS staff in 2016/17.

Unions will be consulting members to see if they accept the Governments offers.

Commenting on the deal, Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “I am pleased the Government came to the negotiating table to seek a solution. I believe this offer represents the best that can be achieved by negotiations and we will consult with members in England.

“Midwives are caring people who work long hours to give excellent care to women and their babies, often working beyond their shift and through their breaks. Even during our industrial action midwives have maintained safety for women and their families. They deserve to be valued by Government and employers.

“We hope that now we have agreements in Scotland and Wales and an offer in England, we can achieve the same in Northern Ireland. “

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN said: “The RCN has been campaigning and lobbying for fair pay alongside the other health trade unions and been involved in the current negotiations.

“This decision goes some way to alleviate the concerns of staff by honouring the independent pay review body's recommendation for a 1% consolidated rise and helping some of the lowest paid NHS staff.

“The NHS has an army of loyal, committed staff working under unprecedented pressure for their patients, who do not take action lightly. This proposal is an important and much deserved acknowledgment of their dedication. 

“This is a positive start, but there is more to be done. The Government must not let today's breakthrough go to waste by ignoring the immense pressure and stress NHS staff are under because of chronic understaffing. The only solution to the recruitment crisis which is hammering staff morale and patient care is a sensible long-term workforce strategy with fair pay at its core.