Government on the brink of offering NHS staff 5% pay rise- the government say it will be last offer

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The offer could bring to an end a pay dispute which has lasted  several months

NHS staff from 14 trusts in England will meet with government officials today to be offered a 5% pay rise. The offer comes following the conclusion of a two day strike by members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

The RCN is to hold a national ballot on the offer, which means that it will be difficult to get a mandate on further strike action. If the majority vote in favour of the offer, staff will receive the extra money in the form of a lump sum.

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Health Secretary Steven Barclay has however said that the offer will be the government’s “best and final” offer. Mr Barclay said: "It’s a substantial increase to pay and something that will make a real difference when everyone is feeling the impact of inflation on their daily lives."

Ahead of the latest strike action, which came to a finish on May 1, RCN general secretary chief executive Pat Cullen said: “The government wants to bring NHS strike action to a close this coming week but with several big unions - and nursing as the largest part of the NHS workforce - still in dispute, it has to do better. Only negotiations can resolve this and I urge ministers to reopen formal discussions with the College over pay specifically.”

Royal College of Nursing picket line as staff strike outside a hospital.Royal College of Nursing picket line as staff strike outside a hospital.
Royal College of Nursing picket line as staff strike outside a hospital.

If further strike action was to be taken by the RCN, it would need to ballot members in order to secure a further mandate. The union’s most recent mandate, which lasted six months, expired with the conclusion of the latest strikes.

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