Fifteen hundred women working for North Cumbria Acute NHS Trust will receive payouts of between £35,000 and £200,000 each after agreeing the biggest ever equal pay award.
Public sector union Unison has waged an eight-year legal battle to gain equal pay and said its offer will be recommended to its members.
Equal value claims were lodged in August 1997 for 14 different working categories, using five male comparators, ranging from nurses to catering assistants.
Pay rates, hours of work, pensions, weekend working rates and sick pay were all included in the comparison which showed that the women were treated unfairly by the old pay system.
Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, said: “It has been a long, hard struggle, but this is a fantastic result for the members involved. It is dreadful, though, that it has taken so long to get justice for these hard-working members who are the backbone of the NHS.”
The amount due to individuals will vary considerably, depending on their employment history.
According to the Department of Health, the new NHS Agenda for Pay system will end pay discrimination against women in the future.