Health unions who represent more than 1 million NHS workers have voted on Tuesday to accept the government’s pay deal.
The 14 unions who represents their members have balloted thousands of the NHS staff over the past few weeks.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) general secretary Pat Cullen have voted to reject the deal and she told The Independent they will continue to ballot for strike action later this year.
Junior doctors are still in a fight with the government and the British Medical Association (BMA) are calling on the Health Secretary to agree to a 35% pay increase.
Sara Gorton, head of health at the union Unison who chairs the union group on the NHS staff council, said: “NHS workers will now want the pay rise they’ve voted to accept. The hope is that the one-off payment and salary increase will be in June’s pay packets.
“But health staff shouldn’t have needed to take action in the first place – unions made clear to ministers last summer that £1,400 wasn’t enough to stop staff leaving the NHS, nor prevent strikes, but the Government wouldn’t listen.
“Proper pay talks last autumn could have stopped health workers missing out on money they could ill afford to lose.
“The NHS and patients would also have been spared months of disruption.
“This pay deal must be the start of something new in the NHS, there cannot be a repeat of the past few months. Everyone who cares about the NHS deserves better. That means improving the process that sets health worker wages.
“The NHS remains desperately short of staff too. Services can only cope with growing demand if there’s a properly resourced and well-supported workforce. Government must now work with unions to achieve just that.”
Health and Social Secretary Steve Barclay said:“I’m pleased the NHS Staff Council has voted to accept our pay offer, demonstrating that a majority of NHS staff agree this is a fair and reasonable deal.
“It is now my intention to implement this for all staff on the Agenda for Change contract and where some unions may choose to remain in dispute, we hope their members – many of whom voted to accept this offer – will recognise this as a fair outcome that carries the support of their colleagues and decide it is time to bring industrial action to an end.
“We will continue to engage constructively with unions on workforce changes to ensure the NHS is the best place to work for staff, patients and taxpayers.”
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