Public sector pay rise will test NHS finances

SAVE ITEM
Healthcare meeting

13 / 3 / 2014 Midnight

The pay rises announced by the Government today will further test NHS finances and inevitably impact on staffing levels, according to the NHS Employers organisation.


Dean Royles, chief executive of NHS Employers, said:

“These are really tough calls for the government to make. We know staff have worked incredibly hard in some very challenging circumstances when the NHS has been subject to exceptional scrutiny. For many staff a pay increase would of course help ease some financial pressures and for others a pay award would be a welcome recognition in a difficult year. We know how tough this decision will feel and how disappointed staff will be.

“The evidence we gave to the review body said any rise would add to already significant cost pressures. Employers are recruiting more front line staff with no additional money and this is not sustainable. The simple fact is that the decision to have no annual pay increase for those already eligible for increments will help ensure more that staff remain in employment than would otherwise be the case.

“More than two-thirds of NHS spending is on staff and increasing all staff pay by one per cent would have cost about half a billion pounds, equivalent to around 14,000 nurses. Even with limiting the increase to staff at the top of their pay scales, employers still face a £150 million pay bill pressure this year. This is bound to have an impact.

“The announcement will however give employers some certainty over pay for the next two years and we can now turn our attention to how we can come out of this period of pay restraint in a mature way. I know trade unions will be angry but hope they will recognise a shared desire to maximise job security for staff and work with us on creative solutions. More immediately, I hope that the doctors’ union will now see the urgency in concluding negotiations on changes to their terms and conditions of employment. Nurses, therapists, scientists, cleaners, porters and other NHS staff have already agreed some changes to their national terms and condition of employment. We now need doctors to do the same.”

Notes for editors:
• An infographic showing average earnings in the NHS is available here: http://www.nhsemployers.org/Aboutus/Publications/posters-infographics/Pages/Average-earning-in-the-NHS.aspx
• The Government’s pay decision is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-sector-pay-awards-for-2014-15

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