Ministers endorse national staged award for nurses

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The Independent Online
The Government's attempt to introduce local pay bargaining into the National Health Service was severely undermined yesterday when ministers felt obliged to endorse a staged national award for nurses.

Despite intensive private lobbying nurses fared no better than other public service staff covered by the pay review bodies in terms of the "up-front" increase.

While ministers have acknowledged shortages, nurses received the same staged 3.4 per cent increase as other groups. Together with doctors, dentists, midwives, health visitors and professions allied to medicine, they will get 2 per cent from 1 April and the balance from 1 December.

The decision to stage increases would be honoured by an incoming Labour administration as a further signal that it is to stick to the present government's policy of financial stringency.

The National Association of Health Authorities and Trusts and the NHS Trust Federation expressed their concern about the impact of the increases on budgets.

Philip Hunt, director of the NAHAT, said: "No justification has been given by the

review bodies for recommending above-inflation awards. "We're already walking a financial tight-rope - this award is in danger of tipping us over."

Nurses' pay (basic rates)

Now 1 APRIL 1 DEC

Auxiliary 7,695 7,849 8,010

New staff nurse 11,895 12,133 12,385

New sister 17,800 18,156 18,535

DOCTORS' PAY (BASIC RATES)

Newly qualified 14,880 15,230 15,440

New consultant 42,170 43,150 43,750

Most GPs 44,770 45,820 46,450

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