NHS 1% pay rises could be scrapped under government proposals

Unions react with anger as the Department of Health says it cannot afford staff 1% pay increases

Unions have threatened industrial action after a Government body announced it could not afford to pay the 1 per cent pay rise promised for NHS staff.

Instead of using money set aside for NHS workers, the Department of Health (DoH) is proposing it is spent on the modernisation of pay structures.

The DoH have said the increase, due to be implemented in April 2014, was unaffordable alongside the 3.5 per cent average annual pay rise staff receive under a pay progression system.

Unions have reacted with anger, arguing that a pay freeze would demoralise staff and could threaten the quality of care patients receive.

Rehana Azam, national officer of the GMB, said: “GMB members in the NHS are already totally fed up with this Government's cuts to NHS services and jobs, which staff know is putting patient wellbeing at risk.

“If the Government now wants to attack NHS staff pay while offering tax cuts to married couples it will be the final straw that will lead to calls for industrial action.”

Speaking on BBC's Today programme, Rachael Maskell, of Unite union, said staff "holding the NHS together at this very difficult time" deserved the pay reward.

She said: “It is about choices and the NHS staff have already had two years of a pay freeze - 1 per cent last year - and, quite frankly, are really falling behind inflation now with their wages.”

In a submission to the NHS pay review body, the DoH said the national health service was up against its biggest financial challenge in history.

The health department said the dilemma is “either pay staff more, accepting that this may do little to improve the quality of care for patients and is likely to restrict the number of staff employers can afford to employ, or, to reform contracts to enable employers to use their pay bill, as part of their overall employment offer, to maintain safe staffing levels, with stronger links to performance, quality and productivity”.

In his spending review in June, Chancellor George Osborne said public sector pay rises in 2015/16 “will be limited to an average of up to 1 per cent”.

But he also said the Government would reform “antiquated” systems of automatic pay progression that were seeing some salaries rise by 7per cent “regardless of performance”.

“Progression pay can at best be described as antiquated; at worst, it's deeply unfair to other parts of the public sector who don't get it and to the private sector who have to pay for it,” he told the Commons.

“So we will end automatic progression pay in the civil service by 2015-16. And we are working to remove automatic pay rises simply for time served in our schools, NHS, prisons and police.”

The DoH quoted the Chancellor's words in its submission to the pay review bodies, and said the national medical pay frameworks meant rises worth around £200 million a year.

“This is out of step with our wider policy on public sector pay and the ambitions the Chancellor set out in the spending round.” it said.

“The 1 per cent that the Government has made available for pay in the spending round would, in our view, be best deployed in supporting the modernisation of national pay frameworks."

Sport
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
football
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

EYFS Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education require an ex...

Year 3 Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Year 3 primary supply teacher ne...

SEN Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply special educational ne...

Regional ESF Contract Manager

£32500 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Birmingham: European Social Fund...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home