A pay rise for over a million NHS staff has been announced after a deal was settled between health unions and the government yesterday.
The deal, which provides a 5% pay rise and a one-off payment of at least £1,655 includes ambulance workers, nurses, physios and porters.
Ellie Dufty, a medical student from the University of Sheffield, said: “I’ve shadowed doctors and worked as a healthcare assistant alongside nurses.
“They work long hours in emotionally and physically draining conditions but I’m always impressed by their work ethic and the care they show to each patient, so they are definitely deserving of a pay rise.”
It was finalised in a meeting between 14 health unions and the government, including unions such as the GMB and Unison, who accepted the offer.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay spoke supportively of the deal.
He said: “Where some unions may choose to remain in dispute, we hope their members – many of whom voted to accept this offer – will recognise this as a fair outcome that carries the support of their colleagues and decide it is time to bring industrial action to an end.”
However, the Royal College of Nurses (RCN), who were seen on strike outside the Royal Hallamshire Hospital on Monday, have threatened strike action again after formally rejecting the offer alongside two other unions.
RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen said: “Despite today’s meeting and the outcome that reflects the votes across all unions, the RCN remains in formal dispute with the government and the NHS over pay levels.
“I entirely respect those, in our membership and that of other unions, who voted to accept. However, that was not the prevailing view of nursing staff. Nursing is the largest part of the NHS workforce and they require an offer that matches their worth.
“Though the pay offer was not enough for our members, I have repeatedly said that the government’s approach should be to build upon it and that remains our position.”
However the RCN must hold another ballot in order to strike, with the last mandate expiring after the previous strike ended on Monday.
Despite the increase for nurses, junior doctors are still yet to receive any change in pay after two strikes.
Main picture: Staff outside the Royal Hallamshire Hospital – taken by Abitsam Mohamed