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Strong public support for NHS staff pay rise

28 September, 2017

Strong public support for NHS staff pay rise

There is overwhelming public support for removing the government’s cap on NHS pay according to survey results released today (28 September) by 14 NHS unions.

The survey of more than 2000 people by ComRes asked if they supported removal of the cap on pay for NHS staff - 84% said they did.

RCM director for employment relations and communications Jon Skewes said: ‘This clearly shows how much the public value our hard working midwives and other NHS staff.’  

More than four in five (83%) of those surveyed said they supported increasing pay for all NHS staff to meet or exceed the cost of living, measured by the Retail Price Index (RPI).

The RPI measure of inflation recently hit a high of 3.9%. In response the NHS unions called for a 3.9% pay award for NHS staff in line with RPI. 

NHS unions are also calling for an additional £800 to restore some of the pay lost by NHS staff over the past seven years. More than two thirds (69%) of the public supported NHS staff being awarded this additional payment.

Jon said: ‘This government refuses to acknowledge that NHS staff have essentially had seven years of successive pay cuts, and it also refuses to fund a fair pay award. What the government need to understand is that investment in NHS staff is an investment in the service the NHS gives. We need a change in policy to give NHS staff fair pay and it must be funded by government.’



Nearly three quarters of those surveyed (73%) said they agreed that more funding should be made available so the NHS Pay Review Body can recommend a pay award higher than 1% if the government lift the pay cap. 

And 77% said they believed that low pay was one of the reasons for many staff leaving the NHS. A similar proportion (74%) thought that low pay was also a factor in young people not choosing careers in the NHS. 

The survey by ComRes was commissioned by the RCM and funded by 14 NHS unions.

The full survey results can be read here.

The 14 NHS unions are: British Association of Dietitians, British Association of Occupational Therapists, British and Irish Orthoptic Society, Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, Federation of Clinical Scientists, GMB, Managers in Partnership, POA (union for prison, correctional and secure psychiatric workers), Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Nursing, Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, Society of Radiographers, UNISON and Unite.

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