Moving forward on NHS pay

With NHS staff nearing the end of a three-year pay deal, the CSP and other health unions are urging the government to provide the funding for a fair and early pay rise for all NHS staff


Physiotherapists, support workers and all NHS staff deserve a fair and early pay rise.

Claire Sullivan, CSP director of employment relations and union services

Pay update: July 2020

The Government announcement on 21 July regarding the pay award for some groups of public sector workers caused some confusion this year. The announcement only covered those groups of staff who were still awaiting their pay award for 2020, such as doctors, dentists and teachers. These groups of staff are covered by their own Pay Review Body (PRB) arrangements.

For NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts, including CSP members, the three year deal entered its final year in April 2020 and so pay awards had already been made. There was a Pay Review Body report for Agenda for Change staff as well, but because pay was already covered by the 3-year deal, it focussed on broader workforce issues and the impact of the three year deal rather than making a pay recommendation.

However, the CSP and other health unions, including nurses, midwives and AHPs, have already been looking to the future on pay, calling on Government to agree to an early and significant rise for Agenda for Change staff. We want to build on the work that the three year deal began, to restore pay to pre-austerity levels and then to continue to raise its value. A significant and early rise will not only give staff the recognition they deserve but will also begin to tackle issues of recruitment and retention which are so crucial to the future of the NHS.

We will continue to update members as things develop.

What is the Pay Review Body?

NHS pay is normally set through the Pay Review Body (PRB) process which reviews evidence submitted by governments across the UK, by health unions and by NHS employers. The PRB then makes recommendations to government ministers who decide whether to accept the recommendations and therefore what pay awards should be implemented. If this process is used for 2021/22 pay it is expected to start in early autumn.

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NHS unions say the government should build on the huge public support shown for the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic by giving health workers across the UK an early pay rise.

What are we asking the government to do about NHS pay?

The CSP and 13 other unions representing health service staff are asking ministers to work with us to move NHS pay forward by:

  1. Making an immediate commitment to pay talks to show staff how much they are valued. Because warm words and applause simply aren’t enough;
  2. Recognising the importance of pay in tackling the vacancies that exist across all sectors of the NHS workforce in every ward, team, department and clinic;
  3. Using an early pay deal to help deliver on government recruitment and retention targets and safer staffing levels for patients
  4. Integrating an early NHS pay deal into plans for helping the economy move forward given the size of the NHS workforce and the positive effect for local businesses of giving these staff more money in their pockets
  5. Providing the funding neededto deliver an early, meaningful and much-deserved pay rise for all staff in the NHS.

The CSP will keep members and our workplace reps informed of progress in this campaign and will consult at the appropriate time.

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