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Nurses ‘badly let down again’ with a poor pay deal

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02/03/2007

The Government has defended its below-inflation public sector pay rises as fair for staff and good for the economy as a sound UK investment in the nation’s finances.

However, the Treasury is getting ready for a chorus of criticism from disgruntled unions, with some already threatening industrial action over what they see as a miserly offer to Government workers compared to their private sector equivalents.

Nurses in particular felt “angry, frustrated and badly let down”, according to the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, Dr Peter Carter.

He commented that he was dismayed by the award and by the decision to introduce it in two stages.

While nurses get a 1.9% rise, GPs get nothing. Some armed forces personnel will receive 9.2%, while senior civil servants get just 1.4%.

Chief Secretary of the Treasury Stephen Timms said the deal was “fair to staff as well as being right for the economy”.

He continued: “I hope that when staff look at the details of this settlement and see what it actually means in terms of their pay next year they will recognise that it is a fair UK investment settlement into the statutory workforce.”

But Unison, the biggest health union in the country, said that the award was far from fair and that with inflation running at 4.2% it amounted to a pay cut for many of its members.

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