Unite rejects nurse pay deal

The proposed pay deal for nurses worth 8 per cent over three years has suffered a further setback after a leading NHS union instructed members to reject it.

The health sector national committee of the NHS's third largest union, Unite, this week unanimously rejected the pay offer.

It called for negotiations to be reopened, warning that the offer does not account properly for inflationary pressures including the rising cost of utilities and mortgage payments. 

Unite head of health Kevin Coyne warned: ‘We can't be tied to a three-year deal, given the future uncertainties in the economy and the inflationary pressures that our hard-working members are experiencing on a daily basis.'

Unison last week was unable to recommend the deal to its members after its leaders were split on whether to do so. The RCN has backed the deal. 

The three-year deal offers 2.75 per cent in 2008/9, 2.4 per cent in 2009/10 and 2.25 per cent in 2010/11. The annual increases are significantly below inflation.

Based on the retail price index measure, inflation is currently 3.8 per cent.

nick.bostock@haymarket.com

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