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Unite health members vote in favour of NHS pay deal

NHS health workers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the three-year pay deal proposed by the government.

Unite’s national health committee, which represents the union’s 100,000 members in the health service, had recommended acceptance of the England-only deal that was unveiled in March.

Unite members voted 79% in favour of acceptance with 21% voting against the package. The turnout was 27%.

Unite national officer for health Sarah Carpenter said: ‘We are pleased that our members have voted by such a large margin to accept the three-year package that was hammered out after some tough negotiations.

‘However, we don’t regard this result as the end of the story, but a first stage on the long march for pay justice for dedicated staff working in the NHS, after eight years of pay austerity.

‘And it is that goal to which we will be concentrating our energies in the months ahead. It should also be stressed that this is a fully funded deal i.e. ‘new’ money, so it is not finance that is being taken away or diverted from cash-strapped NHS services.’

In the first year of the three-year deal, the staff who are at the top of their pay band currently – the majority of NHS staff - will see an increase of 3%.

Over the three years of the deal this will have a cumulative value for them of 6.5%. It is expected that the backdated pay from 1 April 2018 will be in pay packets at the end of July.

Sarah said that there are still a number of issues that have to be resolved at a local level, such as ‘buying and selling annual leave for pay’; the implementation of pay progression by individual trusts; and how trusts pay and support their apprentices.

‘There are also the ongoing discussions regarding the deals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland,’ she added.

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