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Pay review an ‘attack on NHS workers’

GMB, the union for health workers, on Thursday said it was disappointed by the NHS Pay Review Board recommnedations, which in real terms amounted to a cut in salaries.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer said, "The recommendations are disappointing, and wholly undermine the Chief Secretary to the Treasury's claim that pay restraint will support quality in the public services. The Pay Review Body recognise that an effective pay cut of 8% over the past three years has taken its toll on staff resilience and motivation.

“Far from protecting workers from the threat of redundancy, through its cuts this government have wielded the axe. Thousands of NHS workers have lost or are losing their jobs through direct redundancies that are taking place across the NHS. At a time when demand is at all time high the government continues to cut NHS funding - the only ones who can hope to benefit from this government are the companies who are helping them carve up the NHS.

Azam said: “Perhaps if the Chief Secretary to the Treasury depended on the NHS like the rest of us do then he would begin to understand how these attacks on NHS workers are having a real effect on the service and their ability to look after the nation's health".

The NHS Pay Review Body recommendations are for a 1% increase to all Agenda for Change (AfC) pay points from 1 April 2013 and a 1% increase to the high cost area supplement (HCAS) minima and maxima from 1 April 2013.

The report also outlined the fact that staff engagement and motivation is in decline as pressures are building, putting at risk staff goodwill and their willingness to contribute to necessary improvements.

It added that a pay award of less than 1% would have an additional detrimental effect on staff motivation given expectations and the major challenges in the NHS.