Disappointment as NHS staff in England awarded 3% pay rise

on 22 July 2021

NHS staff in England have been awarded a 3% pay rise by the government, which has disappointed unions and staff.

The announcement comes after the Scottish Government awarded their NHS staff with a 4% pay rise.

The pay rise will be backdated to April 2021.

Executive Director for External Affairs at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and one of the NHS Unions Chief Negotiators Jon Skewes said: “At least the limbo our hardworking members were left in by our shambolic government has ended. We are disappointed that maternity staff in England will not receive a headline increase of 4% like their colleagues in Scotland. Through our evidence to the Pay Review Body, we managed to secure more than the 1% proposed by the government, but again this is not backdated far enough or on par with the pay award in Scotland.”

The Royal College of Nursing Associate Director for Employment relations, Tina Lamai, said: “This pay award is bitterly disappointing. The government has spurned a golden opportunity to address several years of low pay and plummeting staff morale. This decision will have a devastating effect upon services provided to patients.”

UNISON Head of Health and Chair of the joint health unions, Sara Gorton, said: “Dedicated staff have been waiting far too long for a decent pay rise. That the government has moved from the insult of 1% shows ministers realise the damage that’s been done. But the memory of 1%, combined with lengthy delay, has done lasting damage to morale and the trust staff have in ministers. The government  will have to do much more to win that back.

“Even though the Prime Minister has moved in the right direction, the increase will fall short of expectations. Pay is so important not just for staff but for the NHS too. After the nightmare of the past year, health workers need to know the government has their back and understands what they’ve been through. As staff ready themselves to deal with another wave [of COVID-19], the government must speak up and show it values what they’ve done. Not just during the pandemic but in tackling the mammoth backlog too.”

Unions will now consult with their members on how to approach the 3% pay award.