Britain and healthcare unions agree on pay rise proposal after months of strikes

Ambulance staff walk alongside parked ambulances at St George’s Hospital during the visit of British Prime Minister Rishi Singh in London, Britain on March 16, 2023. — Reuters
  • The strikes will end only when the members approve the agreement after consultation with the trade unions.
  • Rishi Singh is under increasing pressure to stem the worst wave of British worker unrest since the 1980s.
  • The think tank says the latest pay deal will see NHS pay rise slightly faster than inflation.

LONDON: The British government and healthcare unions agreed on Thursday to a pay proposal that would see wages rise by 5 percent next year and urge workers to accept it, possibly ending Strikes which has disturbed National Health Service (NHS) for months.

The new deal will cover one million nurses, paramedics, midwives and other workers in England for two years until early April 2024. The strikes will end only if members ratify the deal after consultation with trade unions, almost all of whom had recommended it. New offer.

The British Prime Minister said: ‘This offer is good for NHS staff, it is good for the taxpayer and, most importantly, it is good news for patients whose care will be further affected by strike action. will not be affected’. Rishi Sink said.

Sink is under increasing pressure to stem the worst wave of British worker unrest since the 1980s, with strikes affecting almost every aspect of daily life, from health care and transport to schools and border checks. .

Both sides believe the new offer represents a “fair and reasonable settlement”, the government and a group of NHS employers and unions said in a joint statement. This agreement does not apply to junior doctors, who are in a separate dispute.

The government said the offer included a 2% pay rise for 2022/23 and a 5% pay rise for 2023/24, which starts in early April. No overall value was provided to the public purse.

Three of the unions – Unison, GMB and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) – said they recommended their members accept the offer, arguing that although it addressed all their concerns No, but it represents progress. Unions generally demanded a further wage increase in line with inflation, around 10%.

“Members took the tough decisions to go on strike and I believe their decision has been vindicated today,” RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said. “It’s not a cure-all, but it’s real solid progress.”

Unite said it would suspend strike action while members were consulted, but was unable to recommend the offer. The union did not give any specific reason for the decision.

‘Far from perfect’

The NHS, which has been independent in practice since 1948 and is a source of pride for many Britons, has been particularly hard hit by the strikes as it was already suffering from staff shortages and health from the stress of the pandemic. Yab was struggling to survive.

The deal is a significant development, coming a day after half a million Britons went on strike to match the government’s budget. Last month, tens of thousands of nurses and ambulance service staff staged the biggest strike in the NHS’s 75-year history.

The GMB said the offer was “far from perfect”, but the government had put an additional 2.5 billion pounds ($3.03 billion) on the table.

Both Sink and Health Minister Steve Barclay declined to say how much the pay offer would cost the government, maintaining that meeting pay demands that better reflect double-digit inflation would only be Will create risk of price increase.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think tank said the latest pay deal would see NHS pay rise slightly faster than inflation in the coming financial year, and the Government’s funding to offer Details are sketchy.

Ben Zranko, senior research economist at the IFS, said it was unclear whether the Treasury would eventually provide the funding needed to cover the cost of the deal.

“If that happens, it would be a material change to the spending plans included in this week’s budget before the ink is dry.”

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