NHS staff vote on Government’s pay offer as UNISON visits Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals

UNISON on site at Kettering General Hospital.UNISON on site at Kettering General Hospital.
UNISON on site at Kettering General Hospital.
Workers have until September 10 to have their say on the offer

Staff at both Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals had a visit from a health union to discuss and vote on the Government’s pay offer.

UNISON’s purple, open-top bus visited the Northamptonshire hospitals on Tuesday (August 24) after a three percent pay rise was offered for NHS workers last month.

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Employees voted outside the vehicle on whether they accept the pay rise or not and members of the union were on hand for discussions.

UNISON says its elected leadership body is giving a clear steer that a three percent rise is ‘unacceptable’.

A spokesperson from the Union said: “The government has failed to honour its own ‘levelling up’ promises with the disappointing three percet pay rise for NHS workers in England.

“The award doesn’t meet the real living wage of £9.50 per hour for the lowest paid health service workers and widens the gap between those at the top and bottom of the scale.

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“The three percent increase means the lowest earners will get a rise which is just one sixth of those at the top of the NHS pay scales.”

NHS workers have until Friday September 10 to have their say on the pay offer.

UNISON Northamptonshire Hospitals branch secretary, Kelly Phillips, added: “Being paid a visit by the ‘Big Purple Bus’ has been a great opportunity to remind our members to have their say on pay.

“All health staff deserve equal recognition for their contribution to the NHS and their efforts during the pandemic, but the Government’s offer doesn’t offer enough help to those on low pay in the NHS.

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“If staff want to challenge this outcome, they need to take part in this consultation and show there’s widespread support for industrial action.”

When the pay offer was initially announced, health secretary, Sajid Javid, said: "NHS staff are rightly receiving a pay rise this year despite the wider public sector pay pause, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts.

"We asked the independent pay review bodies for their recommendations and I’m pleased to accept them in full, with a three percent pay rise for all staff in scope, from doctors and nurses to paramedics and porters.

"We will back the NHS as we focus our efforts on getting through this pandemic and tackling the backlog of other health problems that has built up. I will continue to do everything I can to support all those in our health service who are working so tirelessly to care for patients."

However, UNISON has called for a £2,000 increase to all pay points which would have rewarded all NHS staff equally.