NHS Covid heroes have been dealt a “kick in the teeth” as the government proposed a pay award of just 1%.
The figure, branded ‘the worst kind of insult’ by furious unions, amounts to a real terms pay cut in 2021/22 when inflation is factored in.
A Department of Health And Social Care document issued today reads: “In settling the DHSC and NHS budget, the government assumed a headline pay award of one per cent for NHS staff.
“Anything higher would require re-prioritisation.”
Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour ’s Shadow Health Secretary said: “A pay cut for NHS staff is the ultimate kick in teeth to our NHS heroes who have done so much to keep us safe over the past year.
“Rishi Sunak’s promised to be open and honest with the public yet shamefully insults every single member of NHS staff sneaking out this announcement and failing to include any mention of NHS pay in the budget.
“NHS staff deserve a fair pay rise.”
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Council chair of the British Medical Association said: “This is a total dereliction of the Government’s moral duty and obligation to a workforce that is keeping the NHS on its feet and patients alive.
“Throughout the pandemic, doctors have cared for more critically ill patients than was ever thought possible and worked round the clock despite suffering from extreme stress and exhaustion, with BMA surveys showing significant numbers of doctors selflessly working extra hours without pay. This is a time at which the Government should demonstrate that it recognises the contribution of a workforce that has literally kept this country alive for the past 10 months.”
“This comes as a kick in the teeth after a decade in which doctors have experienced real terms pay cuts of up to 30% and in the same week as the Chancellor has announced a huge increase in the taxation on doctor’s pensions that will leave virtually all doctors worse off. The Doctors and Dentists Review Body must demonstrate that it is truly independent of Government and recognise the need for a fair pay uplift that makes up for historic pay cuts but also recognises the efforts made and personal risks doctors have taken during this terrible pandemic.”
UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “No wonder the chancellor had nothing to say about the NHS yesterday. A one per cent pay rise is the worst kind of insult the government could give health workers who’ve given their absolute everything over the past year.
“The public will be horrified. Staff will think it’s some kind of joke.
“Ministers should hang their heads in shame, go back to the drawing board and come up with the kind of pay rise that matches the astounding efforts staff have gone to in the past year.
“The entire NHS workforce will now expect to see the pay review body come up with a much more sensible and realistic recommendation than this laughable suggestion from the government.”