‘Outrageous’ PRB delay in England slammed by CSP

The government’s late start to the pay-setting process in England will almost certainly delay any increase in salaries for next year, the CSP believes. 

CSP delegates at Annual Representatives Conference hold banners promoting a fair pay rise for NHS staff

The government kick-starts the annual procedure with a remit letter to the pay review body (PRB). 

The PRB reviews information and evidence from unions, employers and the government itself before making recommendations to ministers, who decide whether or not to accept them. 

But the government only sent the letter this week, long past the expected deadline, and also called for the PRB to respond by May. 

As such, any pay rise to emerge from the process would not be in place by the start of the financial year in April. 

Elaine Sparkes, assistant director of employment relations and union services at the CSP, heavily criticised the delay. 

It is outrageous that our members will have to wait for a pay rise next year because the government can’t organise itself to send a letter

‘Government inaction and intransigence forced our members to take their first ever strike action over pay this year and it’s astonishing that no lessons appear to have been learned from the wave of disputes over the past 12 months' Elaine continued.

‘It’s clear, also, from the wording of the letter that there are serious questions over the independence of this process once again despite the reform that was supposed to take place. 

‘We will engage with the process until we see what proposed changes are on offer and then make the call over what is best for our members.’ 

What's happening with pay elsewhere in the UK? 

  • The Welsh government have not yet committed to the PRB and we are awaiting further communication with ministers to determine the steps for the 24/25 pay process 
  • In Northern Ireland, the CSP would usually expect the executive to follow up with a remit letter to consider pay, but the ongoing suspension of power-sharing complicates the matter. The CSP is continuing to pursue a fair pay rise for members in Health and Social Care 
  • In Scotland, pay will be settled by direct negotiations between health unions and government. 

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