Eight per cent pay deal for nurses

THE government today offered a three-year pay deal to nurses and other NHS workers which unions said was worth eight per cent.

THE government today offered a three-year pay deal to nurses and other NHS workers which unions said was worth eight per cent.

The proposed deal will give more than a million staff an increase of 2.75pc in the first year followed by further increases of 2.4pc in 2009/10 and 2.25pc in 2010/11.

The offer is the highest in the public sector and is aimed at heading off the threat of industrial action in the health service.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said a multi-year deal ensured security for staff and stability for the NHS.

The Government said the deal would give nurses a starting salary of more than £20,000 a year for the first time, a 24pc increase in real terms since Labour came to power in 1997, while experienced midwives will have an earnings potential of over £32,000, 28pc more than a decade ago.

Ministers also announced they had accepted in full the recommendations of a pay review body, to give a 2.2pc increase to hospital doctors and 3.4pc for dentists, although after an increase in expenses the aim is to see a rise of 2.2pc.

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