Nurse and NHS workers have been offered a three-year pay deal by the Government.
More than one million staff will benefit from an increase of 2.75% in the first year, from this month, followed by further rises of 2.4% in 2009/10 and 2.25% in 2010/11.
The offer is the highest in the public sector and is aimed at heading off strike threats in the health service.
The deal would see nurses start on more than £20,000 a year for the first time, while experienced midwives will have an earnings potential of over £32,000.
Hospital doctors would see a 2.2% rise with dentists handed a 3.4% rise, although after an increase in expenses the aim is to see a increase of 2.2%.
Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “We have always said we would only consider signing up to a three-year pay deal if it was fair and offered nurses protection against future rises in inflation. We are delighted to put the RCN’s name to a proposal that does just that.”
However, Kevin Coyne, national officer of Unite, said: “This is not a great deal, spread over three years. Unite has severe reservations about three year deals which mean that pay rises will not reflect rises in inflation.”
Copyright © PA Business 2008