Members of the GMB union have voted ‘overwhelmingly’ to reject the proposed NHS pay deal.
Of the union’s members working in the NHS in England, 87% voted to reject the three-year pay deal offered by the Government.
Rehana Azam, GMB’s national secretary, confirmed the announcement at the union’s 101st annual congress in Brighton today.
Speaking at the congress, Ms Azam said: ‘After a nearly a decade of pay pinching, the prospect of a further three years of cuts to wages is unacceptable. GMB members have sent a clear message to Jeremy Hunt – it’s a no from us.’
The union had been campaigning for a ‘no’ vote on the deal, which would give an average pay increase of 6.5% over three years, as they said it ‘amounts to three more years of real terms pay cuts for over half of NHS employees’.
They cite estimates of inflation, which is anticipated to increase by 9.6% over the next three years, overtaking the average pay increase on offer.
GMB has said it will convene a meeting of representatives on 15 June to consider the next steps.
The Royal College of Nursing is also holding a ballot on the pay deal, the results of which will be announced later this week.
Kevin Brandstatter, GMB national officer, said: ‘For the longest serving and most loyal NHS workers, the 6.5% increase over three years actually means a real terms pay cut, doesn’t put things right and continues to punish those who have endured the pinch on pay.
‘It does nothing to address the recruitment and retention crisis and it leaves the door open to new employees in the NHS being employed on worse terms and conditions than existing health service workers.’
In March, the Government and trade unions representing NHS staff reached an agreement over a new pay deal for NHS staff, with those at the bottom of their pay bands receiving the biggest increase.
Unions starting allowing their members to vote on the deal in April, with all except GMB in favour of the proposals put forward by the Government.