NHS workers received a 3% pay deal in 2021. Ministers have asked the NHS pay review body to recommend a similar award for this year.
However, inflation has soared to 9% – the highest level since the early 1980s – as Russia’s war in Ukraine exacerbates soaring wholesale energy prices. The Bank of England expects inflation to peak close to 10% later this year.
Should ministers push through a 3% settlement for NHS workers, the TUC said nurses and paramedics would suffer a £2,000 cut in the inflation-adjusted value of their pay. For maternity care assistants it would represent a real-term cut of £1,200 and for hospital porters a £1,000 reduction.
The TUC calculates nurses are £5,200 poorer compared with 2010 when pay is adjusted for inflation.
Christina McAnea, the general secretary of the Unison trade union, said soaring inflation had “made a nonsense” of a 3% pay deal.