It’s good the government has moved on NHS pay, but staff deserve more, says UNISON

The Government has announced a 3% pay rise for all NHS staff in England.

We need to be clear about your role in what is happening. At every stage the government has resisted our calls to open pay talks and this is no exception. They are not asking NHS staff to consider an “offer”. The government wants to implement this whether they have your consent or not.

But you and the hundreds of thousands of members in UNISON do have a choice as to how we respond collectively. We are the largest union in the NHS. When we all stand together we can achieve change.

So if you want to challenge this outcome we will build a credible plan to do that.

It will be your decision. We will write to you soon to let you know exactly how our consultation will work.

What we know so far

The Government has decided that a 3% increase will be applied to all NHS pay points.

This should be back dated to April 2021. Calculating back pay is complex so it is most likely the pay award will be paid first, with back pay delivered in later months. Our expectation is that the increase in value will be reflected in national allowances and supplements. We are seeking confirmation on all these issues.

How we respond

The Government intends to impose the 3% award as soon as possible and without consultation.

That has direct consequences on how we consult with you. If there were negotiations we would try and reach agreement then ask you what you thought about what we had achieved. Your decision to accept, or reject, would give us a mandate to agree changes on your behalf.

That is not happening here. The government’s decision to use a Pay Review Body process has skipped this step. Instead, you will be making a decision on whether you want us to work together to challenge this outcome.

It will take a short period of time to start our consultation. We have called an emergency meeting of our lead committee of NHS staff. They will analyse the fine details of the pay outcome and we will share their full assessment with you. They will also make practical decisions on how the consultation will run.

Your local UNISON representatives are finding out about this at the same time we did so for the first couple of days they might not know the answer to your questions. Please bear with us while we produce guidance to help them best support you.

PS. it has never been more important for your contact details to be up to date. The most important information we need right now is your employer, email address, and mobile number. If you have time now please also check your workplace and job role information. You can update your details at MyUNISON – you may need to register first using your membership number, which can be found at the bottom of this email.