Members of every health union except one have voted to accept the proposed NHS three-year pay deal.
After balloting members, the unions announced on 8 June 2018 that health workers have voted overwhelmingly (84% voting to accept and 16% voting against) to accept the deal. Over 83,500 members voted in a turnout of around 30%. NHS staff should now get the money in their July 2018 pay packets, backdated from April.
Since March, when the offer was first made, 14 unions including Unite, of which the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP) — which represents hospital pharmacists — is part, have been consulting with and balloting staff on the proposed pay rise. The deal will mean a 6.5% increase for most staff over the next three years, with more for the lowest paid.
The GHP had recommended that its members accept the three-year pay deal. The GMB was the only union whose members rejected the deal.
Every NHS worker in England will now be paid at least £8.93 an hour (18p above the real living wage of £8.75), or £17,460 a year if they work full-time. Employees who are currently paid below the top of their existing pay band will be entitled to receive pay increases of between 9–29% over the three-year period. Staff who earn the maximum in their pay band will receive a pay rise of 6.5% between April 2018 and April 2020, consisting of 3% in April 2018, 1.7% and a 1.1% lump sum payment in April 2019, and a 1.67% pay increase from April 2020.
Lead health union negotiator and UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “The agreement won’t solve all the NHS’s problems overnight, but it will go a long way towards easing the financial strain suffered by health staff and their families over many years.”