Commenting on the news that the health secretary has today (Thursday) written to the chair of the NHS pay review body to begin the process around the pay award for health staff in 2018/19, UNISON head of health and chair of the NHS unions Sara Gorton said:
“It’s good that at long last the wheels have started to move. Exasperated that the government seemed to be ignoring NHS pay, health unions took the initiative earlier in the autumn and submitted their own pay claim. Something they’d not needed to do in years.
“But today’s letter means that talks can now begin to discuss the much-needed review of the NHS pay structure and the decent wage rise that hard-pressed health staff have waited seven long years for.
“But those talks won’t last long if the government is expecting NHS employees to pay for their own wage rise. Any suggestion that midwives, porters, nurses and healthcare assistants might need to give up the money they get for working weekends or late at night in return for a pay increase and we’ll be back to square one before we’ve even got to the table.”