NHS/UNISON health workers disappointed at low pay increase offer

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UNISON calls government pay increase "paltry." Improved offer expected; NHS ballot in August-September will determine outcome.

Submitted by makaira on July 31, 2007

NHS employers and union representatives meet today to discuss a new settlement for health staff in England.

Mike Jackson, UNISON’s lead negotiator, said the unions were hopeful there would be more money on the table.

The government’s decision to stage the pay award in England has outraged health workers, who say it reduces the 2.5% increase recommended by the independent review body to a “paltry” 1.9%.

The devolved governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all chose to pay the award in full from 1 April, without staging.

Previous talks aimed at resolving the dispute broke up without agreement on 19 July.

No details of today’s expected offer expected were available before the meeting, which was due to begin at 3pm.

However, in the event an improved offer is made, all UNISON members in the NHS will be balloted on whether it is acceptable to them.

Ballot papers are likely to be sent out on 20 August and are due back by 13 September.