23/11/2018

NHS Workers To Get 3% Pay Rise

Health service staff in Northern Ireland are set to receive a 3% wage increase under an offer made to the unions, following the removal of the cap on pay rises.

The extra £60million cash was found following a reshuffle of spending by Stormont's departments. The health sector will receive an extra £109m in total.

Public-sector pay rises have been capped at 1% for a number of years.

Under the offer, the minimum rate of pay would be set at £16,943, an increase of up to 15.5% for some of the lowest-paid employees.

Starting salaries will also grow, including those for newly-qualified nurses.

Department of Health Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly said: "Our health and social care system depends on the dedication and expertise of staff, particularly during these times of unprecedented pressure on services.

"I am delighted to be able to reach this point. The Department, alongside our colleagues in the Department of Finance, has worked hard to make this possible, and I am very grateful to staff across the sector, and our trade union colleagues, for their forbearance while we were doing so."
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The proposals will allocate a 3% pay uplift to around 70% of staff. Eligible staff will also receive an incremental pay progression, which is an increase that may move them towards the top of their pay bands.

The Department aims to implement the changes in the New Year.

Mr Pengelly added: "In common with many other parts of the public sector, health and social care services are facing intense budgetary pressure. Nevertheless, a pay settlement that recognises and rewards our hard-working staff has been an important priority, reflecting our determination to build a sustainable workforce.

"The Department remains committed to Agenda for Change as the UK-wide framework, and to working in partnership with trade unions on efforts to refresh Agenda for Change for future consideration."

Health Spokesperson for the Alliance party Paula Bradshaw praised the pay settlement.

"News that money is now available from the Department of Finance for pay settlements in health and social care is welcome," she said.

"We look forward to further detail of how this will proceed, but with pay elsewhere rising over four per cent in Northern Ireland, it was grossly unfair to leave health and social care workers without a settlement as the cost of living rises.

"I hope we will now move to a final resolution and delivery of a pay settlement swiftly."



(JG/MH)

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