The Independent

Beginning of the end of the strikes?

As NHS nurses and paramedics finally agree on a 5.2% pay deal, is this the...


NHS unions and ministers have reached a new pay deal for frontline staff in a move that could herald the end of walkouts by nurses and paramedics. The government and the NHS Staff Council – which represents nurses, ambulance staff and other NHS workers – reached the final offer after weeks of negotiatio­ns and months of strikes. The breakthrou­gh came after The Independen­t revealed ministers would put forward a 5.2 per cent wage uplift from April after originally saying they could not go beyond 3.5 per cent. The offer also includes two one-off bonuses for this year, an issue at the heart of the dispute. Unions welcomed the deal, saying they had been “vindicated” after months of walkouts, but a former Tory health secretary blamed the government for months of avoidable “pain, discomfort and inconvenie­nce” for patients. RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said: “It is not a panacea but it is real, tangible progress.” Mike Clancy, general secretary of Prospect, said the offer “may provide a template for unlocking disputes elsewhere in the wider public sector”.

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