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NHS workers in England will get a pay rise of 3 per cent for their efforts during the pandemic but police officers and other public servants will be hit with pay freezes, the government revealed tonight. 

Those receiving the salary increases include nurses, paramedics, consultants, dentists and salaried GPs, as well as domestic staff and other support workers. 

They are being recognised for their contribution during an ‘unprecedented year’, the Department of Health and Social Care said. 

Minsters U-turned on their original 1 per cent offer to health staff in March, which was slammed as a ‘slap in the face’ by trade unions.

Officials said it will mean an additional £1,000 a year for the average nurse, while porters and cleaners will receive around £540. But the pay will only be backdated until this April. 

Meanwhile, the Home Office confirmed police officers 

The announcement comes just hours after health minister Helen Whately told the Commons there still wasn’t a deal between the government and the review body.  

The omission prompted furious backlash from Labour and trade unions, who branded it an ‘utter shambles’. 

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), which is demanding a 12.5 per cent increase, said: ‘After a shambolic day, comes a shambolic announcement.’ 

Other unions have asked for a rise of at least 5 per cent, with surgeons and senior doctors threatening to strike for the first time in decades if demands aren’t met. 

Campaigners — including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — yesterday handed in an 800,000-strong petition to Downing Street demanding a 15 per cent boost. 

Social care minister Helen Whately was widely anticipated to reveal the move in a statement to the Commons this afternoon

Social care minister Helen Whately was widely anticipated to reveal the move in a statement to the Commons this afternoon

Social care minister Helen Whately was widely anticipated to reveal the move in a statement to the Commons this afternoon

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (left) joined protesters from the GMB trade union outside Downing Street yesterday where they delivered a petition signed by 800,000 people for better pay for NHS staff

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (left) joined protesters from the GMB trade union outside Downing Street yesterday where they delivered a petition signed by 800,000 people for better pay for NHS staff

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (left) joined protesters from the GMB trade union outside Downing Street yesterday where they delivered a petition signed by 800,000 people for better pay for NHS staff

The government was accused of an 'utter shambles' today as an expected announcement on NHS pay failed to arrive

The government was accused of an 'utter shambles' today as an expected announcement on NHS pay failed to arrive

The government was accused of an ‘utter shambles’ today as an expected announcement on NHS pay failed to arrive

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth was among those bewildered by the lack of an announcement

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth was among those bewildered by the lack of an announcement

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth was among those bewildered by the lack of an announcement

Unions have warned that an expected 3 per cent pay rise for NHS staff is not enough. Pictured, protests in London earlier this month

Unions have warned that an expected 3 per cent pay rise for NHS staff is not enough. Pictured, protests in London earlier this month

Unions have warned that an expected 3 per cent pay rise for NHS staff is not enough. Pictured, protests in London earlier this month 

At the start of July the British Medical Association advised ‘exhausted and demoralised’ members to take industrial action if the annual pay bump is not increased to at least five per cent. 

Scotland has already announced a 4 per cent bump to most NHS staff pay, which will be backdated to December.  

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said the announcement showed the government’s willingness to ‘back the NHS’.

He added: ‘NHS staff are rightly receiving a pay rise this year despite the wider public sector pay pause, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts. 

‘We will back the NHS as we focus our efforts on getting through this pandemic and tackling the backlog of other health problems that has built up. 

‘I will continue to do everything I can to support all those in our health service who are working so tirelessly to care for patients.’

But the GMB trade union described the rise as an ‘appalling’ offer and warned staff morale had hit ‘rock bottom’. 

NHS England’s record-long waiting list for routine treatment will take THREE YEARS to clear 

England’s backlog of patients waiting for routine treatment will take at least three years to clear, according to the departing boss of the NHS.

Sir Simon Stevens warned 13million people will be left needing care ‘if no action was taken’ — more than a quarter of all adults in England.

An all-time high of 5.3million people are already waiting for operations such as knee and hip replacements, with coronavirus having caused massive disruption across the health service.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid this week revealed he was ‘shocked’ at projections the waiting list could more than double in size by the end of the year.

Sir Simon, who will stand down from his chief executive role later this month, said it is unlikely to hit such high levels because the NHS won’t sit on its hands in tackling the backlog.  

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Rachel Harrison, GMB’s national officer, said: ‘NHS staff are on their knees – exhausted, fatigued and anxious – as we look set to enter another wave of the covid pandemic. Staff morale is rock bottom.

‘Hospitals and ambulance services are operating under extreme pressures due to rising demand and staffing shortages.

‘Now, rather than focussing on staff welfare they are being advised to enter the workplace against self-isolation advice and now given this frankly appalling pay offer.

‘This was the opportunity for Government to turn their clapping in to genuine recognition. Their response is paltry. They have failed spectacularly.

‘NHS workers know their worth and so do the public – shame on the government who don’t.’

The government has improved on its initial offer of 1 per cent back in March, which caused a furore.

Critics said that would’ve effectively been a pay cut because inflation levels are expected to rise above 2.4 per cent this year due to the pandemic. 

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said the pay award was ‘an improvement’ on the Government’s ‘earlier, miserly 1 per cent proposal’.

She added: ‘But the increase falls short of what NHS staff deserve after the past 16 months.

‘It’s less than the wage rise given to Scottish health colleagues and not enough to protect the NHS.

‘Porters, cleaners, nurses, paramedics and other health workers have waited for months for what they hoped would be a fair deal.

‘Ministers could have paid up last year if they really valued the NHS. Instead, staff have been made to hang on until the summer – long after their wage rise was due.’ 

The RCN’s interim general secretary and chief executive, Pat Cullen, said the ‘shambolic’ offer had come after a ‘shambolic’ day.

Ms Whately, the health and social care minister, was widely expected to announce the rise in the Commons this afternoon. 

When she was repeatedly challenged by MPs on what had happened to the announcement, Ms Whately said: ‘We will be announcing our decision on NHS pay in due course.’ 

Mr Cullen said: ‘After a shambolic day, comes a shambolic announcement. When the Treasury expects inflation to be 3.7 per cent, ministers are knowingly cutting pay for an experienced nurse by over £200 in real-terms.

‘Hospitals and other parts of the NHS are struggling to recruit nurses and healthcare support workers. 

‘The government has been warned that many more are on the verge of leaving. With today’s decision, ministers have made it even harder to provide safe care to patients.

‘This announcement is light on detail. It must be fully-funded with additional monies for the NHS and ringfenced for the workforce bill.

‘Nursing staff will remain dignified in responding to what will be a bitter blow to many. But the profession will not take this lying down. We will be consulting our members on what action they would like to take next.’  

A 3 per cent rise for NHS staff would be above the latest rate of CPI inflation - although it has been rising fast

A 3 per cent rise for NHS staff would be above the latest rate of CPI inflation - although it has been rising fast

A 3 per cent rise for NHS staff would be above the latest rate of CPI inflation – although it has been rising fast 

Wages have been spiking but the ONS pointed out the figures are being warped by the effects of job protection measures including furlough

Wages have been spiking but the ONS pointed out the figures are being warped by the effects of job protection measures including furlough

Wages have been spiking but the ONS pointed out the figures are being warped by the effects of job protection measures including furlough

NHS surgeons threaten to strike over pay row 

Surgeons and other senior doctors in England are threatening to strike if No10 does not improve the one per cent pay rise it proposed for NHS staff. 

The British Medical Association said that the original offer was ‘little more than an insult’ after a year of battling the pandemic.

It will will advise ‘exhausted and demoralised’ members to take industrial action if the annual pay bump is not increased to at least five per cent. The BMA had originally been calling for a 12.5 per cent rise.

Striking would involve stopping all overtime, paid and unpaid. Doctors generally work up to 20 per cent over their contracted hours every week, the BMA said.

The move could be highly disruptive as the NHS tries to clear record backlogs triggered by the pandemic.  

A record 5.12million people are on waiting lists in England for routine care, the highest since records began. Among them, 65,000 have been waiting for more than 18 months.

And there are early signs that hospital rates from Covid are picking up too, with 304 patients admitted with the virus on June 28, the latest data available.

This was a 35 per cent rise on the previous week but still a far cry from levels in previous waves of the Covid crisis. 

Consultants, the most senior doctors in hospitals, have not taken any industrial action since the 1970s, apart from one day of action over pensions in 2012. 

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Labour had earlier voiced outrage at the absence of an offer for staff.

Shadow health minister Justin Madders tweeted: ‘Government say they cant afford to offer NHS staff more than 1 per cent, see the backlash so brief they are going to give 3 per cent but then come to Parliament to make a statement on it… and say nothing at all. 

‘What an utter shambles.’ 

And shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: ‘After these past 16 months our brave, hardworking NHS staff deserve so much better than this insulting shambles. 

‘Rather than a real terms pay cut Sajid Javid needs to get a grip and deliver the decent, fair pay rise NHS staff deserve.’ 

Labour MP Rosena Allin-Khan, shadow health minister and an A&E doctor in London, said the failure to deliver the pay rise before the summer recess was ‘an insult of the highest order’.

‘Low-level awards of a couple of percent would look timid and insult staff when the challenges they face have never been greater.’ 

Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: ‘If the Pay Review Body is recommending a 3 per cent pay rise, it is a small step forward on the insulting 1 per cent the Government offered in March.

‘However, this recommendation in no way recognises the 19 per cent drop in real earnings that many NHS workers have endured in the last decade, nor the immense sacrifices that health staff have and are continuing to make as Covid infection rates rapidly rise again.

‘It doesn’t match the 4 per cent the Scottish Government offered to NHS workers backdated to December 2020.

‘Three per cent will also do very little to staunch the escalating recruitment and retention crisis and free up resources to tackle the enormous backlog in non-Covid procedures, such as hip replacements.’ 

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics earlier this month showed that growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 7.3 per cent and regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 6.6 per cent.

However it acknowledged that the figure was being inflated by job protection measures including the furlough over the past 16 months.

Because many workers were being paid not to work or had their hours drastically reduced, last year’s figures slumped massively. 

But it means that as the economy opened up this year there was a counteracting increase as workplaces opened up again.

Viewed through this prism a three per cent pay increase may be seen as more generous as it might initially appear.

Striking would involve stopping all overtime, paid and unpaid. Doctors generally work up to 20 per cent over their contracted hours every week, the BMA said at the start of July.

However the move could be highly disruptive as the NHS tries to clear record backlogs triggered by the pandemic and the threat came before the current spike in Covid cases.

A record 5.12million people are on waiting lists in England for routine care, the highest since records began. Among them, 65,000 have been waiting for more than 18 months.

In March, then health secretary Matt Hancock infuriated NHS staff by claiming the 1 per cent pay offer for frontline staff was ‘fair’ and insisted no-one cares about nurses more than him.

He told the Downing Street press conference the offer, which medics have described as a ‘slap in the face’, was based on ‘affordability’ and that the pandemic had brought ‘financial consequences’.

Mr Hancock – who promised last year he would ‘fight’ to ensure the NHS was given a ‘reward’ in the aftermath of the pandemic – claimed he ‘bowed to no-one in his admiration’ for nurses, adding: ‘I learnt that at the knee of my grandmother who was a nurse.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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