Unison reopens nurse pay negotiations

Unison has triggered a clause to reopen pay negotiations with the government in the wake of increases to the cost of living.

RCN and Unison members voted to support the three-year pay deal in June. However, Unison now say that inflation is now beyond the 2 per cent assumption made at the time it negotiated the deal.

Karen Jennings, the union's head of health said: ‘Nurses and other health workers are already struggling to cope with almost daily increases in the cost of basic necessities. The re-opener clause was central to this year's multi-year pay talks because it provided a much-needed safety net against just this situation.'

Re-opening the clause will have no impact on the 2.75 per cent increase agreed for 2008/9.

However, Unison and other health unions will gather evidence to present to the independent pay review body and ask that the pay increase for 2009/10 is reviewed in light of rising inflation.

Under the three-year deal nurses are due a 2.54 per cent pay rise in 2009/10 and 2.5 per cent in 2010/11. Ms Jennings said that these increases fell well short of all expected inflation figures.

emma.bower@haymarket.com

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