Majority of British unions accept government’s healthcare pay offer

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The British government will implement a pay offer covering more than a million National Health Service staff, after trade unions representing a majority of those involved in a dispute over wage increases voted to accept the deal on Tuesday.

The offer, covering nurses, paramedics, midwives and other workers in England, includes a one-off payment equivalent to 2 percent of salaries in the 2022/23 financial year and a 5 percent pay rise for 2023/24.

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It had been accepted by the largest union involved in the dispute, Unison, as well as three other unions, but others including Unite and the Royal College of Nursing have rejected the offer and plan to continue strike action.

Health minister Steve Barclay said the offer was the final one and the vote by the NHS Staff Council, which includes representatives from NHS employers and trade unions, to accept it showed a majority believed it was “fair and reasonable.”

“It is now my intention to implement this,” Barclay said.

“Where some unions may choose to remain in dispute, we hope their members ... will recognize this as a fair outcome that carries the support of their colleagues and decide it is time to bring industrial action to an end.”

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