A one-time pay increase of £1,400 has been granted to NHS Nurses and Healthcare Professionals by the government.
Whilst this could be deemed good news, the recent pay increase caused a major backlash amongst the public.
The government are awarding more than one million NHS workers the pay rise, which equates to 71p per hour.
The £1,400 pay rise for nurses, paramedics and midwives averages a 4% pay increase.
Whereas the lowest earners, such as porters and cleaners, are expected to gain a 9.3% increase in their pay.
How does pay rise compare to inflation?
With a 4% increase, many are pointing out the pay increase doesn’t match the rate of inflation.
The criticism stems from the cost of living crisis, as inflation has hit a record high in 40 years.
The inflation rate is expected to rise later on in the year, having the potential to hit 11%.
Sara Gorton, Unison Head of Health and chair of the NHS group of unions, warned that the pay rise was “nowhere near what’s needed to save the NHS”.
In response to the pay rise, NHS nurses are expected to hold a ballot and strike against the government.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has expressed its disappointment with the pay rise failing to match rising living costs.
RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen explains that “This is a grave mistake… the government is misjudging the mood of nursing staff and the public too.”
The RCN is a powerful organisation, representing more than 465,000 workers within the NHS.
When responding to the high criticism, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi defended the pay rise.
The chancellor explained the government were avoiding a spiral of higher bills by not granting a higher salary.
A recent YouGov survey revealed that 60% of the public would support a nurse strike, conducted last month.
71% agreed that they would “sympathise” with a strike by nurses, which is a high majority.
Due to inflation, the £1,400 pay award stands as a pay cut.
The average frontline nurse is £6,000 worse now than they would have been in 2010.
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