Nurses are to receive a pay rise of between 6.5-22% over three years after NHS employers and the unions agreed new pay deal.
The rise will be based on current length of service and where in the pay band each nurse sits.
The proposed deal means that a band 5 nurse who started this year will get a 22%, or £4,842, increase in basic pay over three years. A band 5 nurse with two years’ experience will see a 16%, or £3,819, increase over three years, with a 6.5% (£1,869) increase for those at the top of the pay band.
The new deal will also see some 1% of health workers getting up to a 29% pay rise. But most of those at the top of their band will get 6.5% over three years.
Crucially, there will be no change to holiday entitlements or unsocial hours payments.
The deal will now be put forward to members to vote during a consultation period running from 23 April to 5 June.
The Government has committed to fully fund the deal from the £4.2 billion allocated to the NHS in the recent Budget, meaning the extra money will not come from existing NHS budgets.
It follows campaigns by health unions, including the Royal College of Nursing’s Scrap the Cap protest, to increase pay and tackle recruitment issues.
Chief executive of the RCN Janet Davies said they will be asking their members to vote in favour of the deal.
She said: ‘The progress achieved here is a credit to our members who fought hard to scrap the brutally unfair pay cap.
‘Today’s deal is neither a magic wand nor a blank cheque but commits significant Government cash to overlooked NHS staff without making any unpalatable demands in return. For that reason, we will be asking members to vote in favour.’
Chair of the RCN trades union committee Lors Allford said: ‘This is the best pay deal in eight years from a Government that is still committed to austerity. Failure to accept it will put us back at square one, and at risk of returning to the 1% pay rises we’ve fought so hard to overturn.
‘This is our chance to lock in a pay deal for three years, that not only guarantees our members will get more money, but simplifies the pay structure so that they get recognised for their increasing skill and experience quicker. It provides certainty at a time of great political and economic uncertainty and I urge our members to accept it.’
Employers’ body the NHS Confederation said the proposed agreement will turn the tide on the NHS staffing problems, by helping to attract new recruits and retain experienced staff.
Unison’s head of health and lead pay negotiator for the NHS unions Sara Gorton said: ‘Seven years of pay freezes and wage increases well below the cost of living have meant significant financial hardship for health staff and their families. It’s also created headaches for employers as they struggled to attract new recruits and hold onto experienced staff.
‘The agreement means an end at last to the government’s self-defeating and unfair one per cent pay cap. It won’t solve every problem in the NHS, but would go a long way towards making dedicated health staff feel more valued, lift flagging morale, and help turn the tide on employers’ staffing problems.’
NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer said: ‘This deal will benefit more than a million health staff in England. To support long-term attraction and recruitment, starting salaries for all our non-medical staff groups will also see increases, which will help to make these roles more attractive for people considering a career in the largest employer in Europe. It will also ensure that existing staff receive deserved increases to pay, which will assist our work to value and retain these vital colleagues.’
Nurses in general practice will not receive the additional pay rise unless GP employers choose to match the Agenda for Change increase.