Tuesday, 13 March 2012


UNISON, the UK’s largest union representing 460,000 NHS workers, today condemned the Government’s decision not to give a pay rise to nurses, therapists, paramedics, midwives and other health staff for the second year running. The cut means that health staff have seen the value of their wages fall by 11.6% since the Coalition came to power.

The recommendation from the Pay Review Body to award £250 to those staff earning under £21,000, will still leave thousands upon thousands of staff struggling to make ends meet.

Coupled with massive discontent about the hated Health and Social Care Bill, privatisation, cuts and job losses, the pay freeze sends out another message that the NHS is suffering under the Coalition Government.

Christina McAnea, UNISON Head of Health, said “We are disappointed at the Government’s decision which means the pay of staff in the NHS is now worse than when this government came to power. Hundreds of thousands of NHS staff and their families face a second year without a pay rise. It is a tough job being a nurse, paramedic, therapist or midwife and surely we want them to concentrate on their patients and not to be worrying about paying rapidly rising bills.

“Continuing to freeze pay in this way will also deter young people from entering healthcare professions and we could soon be back to the bad old days where gaps in the workforce could only be plugged by raiding the trained staff of other countries.

“The NHS will only be able to cope with double whammy of massive restructuring and fewer resources by retaining well motivated and highly skilled staff.”

In its evidence to the Pay Review Body, UNISON warmed that a toxic combination of increasing demand, shrinking resources and the pay freeze, was putting staff under severe pressure. The Pay Review Body report has acknowledged these pressures and highlights the loss of independent decision making imposed on it by the Government’s demand to impose a public service pay freeze.