Nurses and healthcare workers start voting on whether to accept pay deal

Nurses and healthcare workers will start voting on Monday on whether to accept a pay deal negotiated after years of wage restraint.

The Royal College of Nursing said the offer would give NHS staff the biggest pay rise in a decade, worth between 6.5% and 29% over three years.

The ballot among 200,000 RCN members in England, will run for six weeks until early June.

A registered nurse three years into a career and currently earning around £24,500, will be more than £6,000 a year better off by 2020/21, said the RCN.

Janet Davies (pictured), the RCN’s general secretary, said: “The serious amount of new money the Government put on the table is a credit to the nursing staff who turned up the heat on ministers last year.

“Their strong campaigning meant negotiators could fend off all unpalatable demands to cut holidays or pay for unsocial hours.

“When there are 40,000 unfilled nurse jobs in England alone, voting yes to the best rise in a decade will go some way to making nursing an attractive career again.

“The deal is not a silver bullet to cure all ills nor can it rewrite history.

“But rejecting it would set back the fight for higher wages by 18 months or longer and leave people worse off.”

Other unions representing NHS staff covered by the pay offer are also balloting their members in the coming weeks.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved.