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NHS workers facing real terms pay cut, TUC warns

Nurses will be hit by a real term pay cut of over £1,500 if public sector wage increases are pegged to 2% in the next financial year, according to a new report.

The TUC said its analysis suggested that millions of workers will suffer more “pay misery” in 2023/24 after more than a decade of below inflation increases.

The union organisation calculated the loss to NHS staff if the Government confirms reports of a 2% limit on pay rises, including £1,000 for hospital porters, £1,200 for maternity care assistants, £1,900 for paramedics and midwives, and £1,500 for nurses.

The report, published ahead of the autumn statement on Thursday, follows votes for industrial action by nurses and other NHS staff, and ongoing ballots for strikes across the health service.

The TUC said stagnant wages had played a major role in the “crippling” staff shortages facing the NHS.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said “Our amazing key workers in the public sector have endured a brutal decade of pay cuts and freezes.

“They cannot afford to tighten their belts any further. Many are at breaking point.

“Another below-inflation award will hammer morale at a time when staff are leaving in droves and staff shortages are crippling vital services.

“Ministers should be giving public servants the fair pay rise they have earned – not driving them towards food banks, but this is a government that is choosing to make nurses poorer as its lifts the cap on bankers’ bonuses.

“The Conservatives only have themselves to blame if there are large-scale strikes this winter. They have pushed our pandemic heroes to the brink.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We have accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body in full and have given over one million NHS workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year.

“This is on top of a 3% pay increase last year when public sector pay was frozen and wider government support with the cost of living.”