NHS Employers, the body responsible for NHS pay, is seeking a maximum 2.5% pay award for doctors, dentists, nurses and other healthcare professionals from April 2006.
In its evidence to the pay review bodies, Gill Bellord, head of pay and negotiation at NHS Employers, said: “This year’s evidence represents a significant milestone as it is the first time that all employers from across the service have been able to put forward their particular views on pay awards for their staff.
“Our evidence calls for a pay award in 2006/7 that is affordable for trusts. Next year’s pay award should recognise that over £1bn has already been invested in modernising pay systems and much work has been done to make the NHS an attractive employer,” Bellord said.
NHS Employers’ evidence also calls for a two- or three-year pay deal across all staff groups.
“This will enable employers to have some stability and will help them with their service and financial planning,” said Bellord.
The evidence was gathered through an online questionnaire on the NHS Employers website.
The evidence includes the following key points:
- There are signs of a slowdown in the economy with average earnings falling, pay settlements remaining stable and inflation forecast to fall towards the end of the year
- Affordable pay settlements are necessary to ensure that the current financial position in the NHS does not worsen. A pay uplift of 2.5% in line with inflation targets is the most that could be supported by employers in the NHS
- Employers report that recruitment and retention is generally improved and turnover of staff is stable in most areas
- The review bodies should take into account pension costs of both employers and employees when considering levels of pay increases
- Many employers report positive signs that the morale of staff working in their organisations is improving.