This site is intended for health professionals only

Union warning over NHS pay award

The government could be made to suffer at the next election because of "real tensions" over the way it has treated millions of NHS workers, a union claims.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber attacked ministers for trying to "railroad" through "unjustified" pay limits well below the rate of inflation.

He said health workers and other groups such as prison officers feel "real anger and resentment" over their pay awards this year.

And he hit out at ministers for deciding to stage the rises recommended by independent review bodies, which has reduced their value.

Nurses in England are to get a staggered 2.5% wage rise with some additions, but their colleagues in Wales and Scotland will receive their increase in one go.

Mr Barber, speaking ahead of the TUC Congress in Brighton, said workers are demoralised despite the extra investment being put into public services.

Constant reforms, coupled with below-inflation pay deals, have had a "negative" effect on staff, who are passing their fears on to friends and family, he added.

And Mr Barber warned that people's voting intentions could well be affected by their perception of the government's handling of public services.

Copyright © PA Business 2007


Your comments: (Terms and conditions

"Why have we been railroaded? How can Mr Brown justify his discrimination to English nurses? He won't be getting my vote" - Cath, Birmingham

"Very demoralising and pitiful" - Shirley Jenkins, Harrow PCT

"Not only is the pay award insulting to nurses but the RCN's refusal to allow practice nurses to vote on the issue leaves us completely stranded and without a voice. I feel completely let down by the RCN" - Gill, London