Steve Barclay hints that prominent NHS staff could get a pay rise from April if they accept reforms
The Health Secretary has suggested that prominent NHS staff could still be eligible for a bumper pay rise from April if they implement ‘productivity and efficiency’ reforms.
Steve Barclay will meet union leaders tomorrow to discuss the pay settlement for healthcare workers next year.
There is pressure on the Government to agree to substantial wage increases as a means of ending a series of disruptive strikes.
Some ambulance workers are set to strike again on Wednesday, while nurses are also planning another strike on January 18 and 19.
Union leaders are calling for a wage increase above inflation, although Mr Barclay has repeatedly refused to negotiate a salary that has been determined by an independent pay body for this year.
But the Health Secretary has focused on settling wages for next year with suggestions that NHS reforms could be part of the negotiations.
In an article for the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Barclay wrote: ‘I remain open to engaging with unions on what the Government can do to support the workforce.
‘I’m looking forward to speaking with unions to see how we make any payments made through a more affordable independent payment body where productivity opportunities exist. and effective.’
Steve Barclay will meet union leaders tomorrow to talk about next year’s pay settlement for healthcare workers
Ambulance workers will strike again on Wednesday, while nurses are also planning another strike on January 18 and 19.
Pat Cullen, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, warns the PM’s pledge to cut NHS waitlists will fail unless Rishi Sunak raises the salaries of his members
Health Minister will meet union leaders from Royal College of Nursing (RCN), GMB, Unite and Unison on Monday.
Ahead of those talks, Mr Barclay said he wanted to discuss ‘what is fair and affordable’ before the Government submits evidence to the independent pay review body as part of ‘how constructive approach’.
With less than three months left of this fiscal year, he added, we should be moving forward and having constructive conversations about what is affordable next year, rather than turning around. return to pay the amount applicable from April”.
‘I recognize that inflation has made life harder for the workforce – as well as for millions of families at home and abroad.
‘It’s also part of why I’m determined to talk about what we can do next year on pay and the many other improvements we need to make the NHS a better place to work.
‘Doing this work through the process of independent pay review bodies is clearly the best way to do this, especially since spending every winter frozen in salary negotiations with employers unions will keep the NHS from focusing on other challenges facing the NHS.’
About 9,999 employees were out of work due to a strike on December 15. Another 11,509 were recorded on December 20
Pat Cullen, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, warned the PM’s pledge to cut NHS waiting lists would fail unless Rishi Sunak raised the salaries of her members.
She told the Independent website: ‘He has made a bold, broad statement that he will cut the waiting list, but he won’t unless he addresses the crisis in the nursing profession… and the only way you’re going to do it is to solve the fundamental problem of nurses’ salaries.’
Ms Cullen added that the Prime Minister could end the Government’s dispute with nurses in a matter of days by negotiating over nurses’ salaries.
She added: ‘He could come up with a solution within the next week – and stop industrial action. I will be available any night or any day. Let’s round up a table. Let’s have a discussion.
‘I think they owe it to that profession, to all those 320,000 nurses. And they owe it to every patient in this country, especially the 7.2 million people sitting on the annual waiting list, to be seated around the table.’