NHS pay deal agreed

By Julie Griffiths on 21 March 2018 Pay and Agenda For Change

The RCM and 13 other health unions have agreed, in principal, a three-year pay package with the government for NHS staff in England.

This includes midwives and MSWs on the NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) pay structure. The deal means many staff will see overall pay increases of 9% to 29% over three years.

Pay for those already on the top point of each pay bands will see their pay rise by at least 6.5% over three years.

As an example, percentage increases for those below the top point of AfC Band 6 range from 24.89% at the bottom of the band to 11.78% at the existing penultimate point after three years.

This is the Band comprising the greatest number of midwives.

There will also be quicker progression through the pay bands as these have been shortened, and NHS workers will now reach the full rate for the job quicker.  

Overlaps between pay bands have also been removed resulting in much better starting salaries on each band.

Contrary to rumour, no holidays will be lost by any staff as part of this agreement.

The RCM, along with the 13 other unions, also resisted any undermining of the value of unsocial hours payments. This is important to midwives providing a 24-hour, 365-day service where a third of take-home earnings may come from unsocial hours enhancements.

Crucially, this agreement will also be fully funded by the treasury and not existing NHS funding.  

The RCM is pleased to see the government recognise the need to care for NHS staff with a commitment to improve productivity through greater emphasis on staff health and wellbeing. This is a reflection of the aims of the RCM Caring for You campaign, running since 2016.

RCM director for policy, employment relations and communications, and lead negotiator on the pay deal, Jon Skewes said: ‘This pay deal is the best that has been achieved for any public sector workers, and one that completely breaks the government’s pay policy of recent years. It is a real achievement and one that we and the other unions have fought hard to get for our dedicated and hardworking members.  

‘We have been campaigning for fair pay overdue and this deal is a very good step in the right direction. It is the start of really valuing the contribution of NHS staff. It is also good for recruitment and retention of midwives and MSWs, given the chronic current shortages in maternity services.

‘This is a real about turn from recent years of pay stagnation and pay freezes particularly given the current economic climate. It is a deal that I encourage our members to accept.’

The RCM will now be consulting its members on the agreement with the results of that consultation expected at the end of May. The member-elected RCM board backs this pay deal and recommends that RCM members accept it.

Full information on the deal is available on the joint unions pay website nhspay.org, which also includes a pay calculator for NHS staff to see how much their pay will change over the next three years.