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Unison members accept pay deal

Thousands of NHS workers have voted to accept an improved pay offer from the government, a union has announced.

Unison, which represents around 450,000 health staff across the UK, said its members backed the deal by a ratio of 2:1.

The 2.5% wage rise had angered union leaders as the government decided to stagger the award, reducing it to 1.9% overall.

But last month ministers made some concession by offering a £400 one-off payment for tens of thousands of the lowest paid workers, as well as cash towards registration fees.

Unison head of health Karen Jennings said she is "disappointed" the deal is still below the rate of inflation, but that workers now want to move on.

She said: "The increase still represents a cut in living standards so we will try to catch up next year.

"I don't believe health workers will accept a below inflation pay increase for two years running.

"The latest statistics show that pay growth in the public sector has fallen to its lowest for a decade. The NHS will need to work hard to keep its staff from looking for higher paid work elsewhere."

Health Secretary Alan Johnson welcomed the ballot results, adding: "What is important is that we build on this, involving the workforce in the key decisions about the future of the NHS as we modernise patient care."


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"They won't improve, we have been conned by Agenda for Change - it is local pay bargainning by another name. I do the same job as colleagues 5 miles away and they get a higher band" - Name and address supplied

"I am shocked that the ratio of 2:1 votes came back in favour of the revised pay deal, I certainly don't know anyone who was prepared to accept this, unfortunately we still seem to be working in an NHS which does not support the rights of its employees. Where else do you know of an organisation who brought in a pay regenertion and 3 years down the line a large proportion of us are still waiting to be assimilated, and then to top it off we dont even get a yearly increase in line with inflation? I have considered leaving the NHS and joining social work who are taking over more and more healthcare roles, I would also make an average of about £5,000 more per year with no qualifications. As for unions, we only pay the fees as we need them if god forbid some patient decides to sue us otherwise they are as much use as a chocolate teapot." Gillian Cunningham, Addiction Nurse