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  • 05 September 2023
  • 11 min read

My Thoughts On The 2023 Public Sector Pay Offer

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    • Richard Gill
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“It’s not just about the pay increases; it's also about the values, and the terms and conditions... if we can make the changes needed to make a positive impact, the pay won't be as bad.”

In this informative video, Claire catches us up on the 2023 public sector pay offer, and the impact this is having on further strikes, the staffing crisis, and the future of the NHS.

Hi everyone, a huge good morning, good afternoon, good evening. Wherever you are in the world, a huge, big welcome to you. So, in today's video, we are going to be discussing all about the recent public sector pay offer.

The Current Situation

So, if you didn't know already, firstly, where have you been living? Maybe you don't have a TV, radio, news, etc. But if you didn't know, all the public sectors have been going on strike recently. I have already done some strike videos, especially within nursing. So go check them out if you haven't already.

So, in the latest news, where are we at with nursing? Nurses apparently have voted not to strike anymore without any pay offer, without anything, which I find very bizarre and odd because why would you vote to strike in the first place, then reject the pay offer and then vote not to strike and continue to get what you were striking for? Doesn't make sense to me.

However, I mean I have no facts/ signs behind this- this is just what I've seen and heard from colleagues, what I've seen on social media myself as well. I never received any ballot paper, so I didn't get the chance to vote for it. And this is the case for many, many people by the looks of it, on social media. I have taken to social media to have a look and there's a lot of people tweeting, and there's a lot of Tik-Toks going round as well, saying they didn't receive a ballot paper, so they haven't been able to vote.

Has something happened behind the scenes? Has something gone on and people just haven't received their ballot paper and now we're just accepting that this is it now for nurses? It's not okay, it just doesn't make sense to me, and I don't know why and what's gone on or what's happened. I've got no facts or anything behind anything on it, so I'm not going to discuss that anymore. So, let's move on to what now.

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The Public Sector Pay Rise

So back in July, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak did a big conference. You can view it online, have a look if you've missed it, offering a pay rise to all the public sectors. So, Rishi Sunak has had meetings with the independent review bodies to come to some sort of a negotiation of some sort to figure out what should be the pay increase, what are we doing and all of that.

Here's a breakdown of just some of the public sector. I have my trusty laptop in front of me just to get the figures for you.

Police are getting an increase of 7%, NHS workers 6%, junior doctors 6% plus a £1,250, one-off payment. That'll come in handy, Rishi. I would like that payment. Thank you. Prison officers 7%, armed forces a measly 5% (hello, they're the armed forces, they fight for and serve our country) plus a £1000 one-off payment. How do they come up with these figures? Anyway, teachers 6.5%.

What can we do to change? What can we do to put things in place to protect the staff, to protect the patients and families and friends? More of those discussions need to be had in the workplace.

Where Will The Money Come From?

Within this speech or recommendation of pay rise, everyone is asking where is this money coming from? Rishi Sunak has said, which I'm very thankful for, (and it is something I agree with for once) he's not going to raise taxes. Hopefully he keeps his word to that because we all know the climate we are in right now is horrific. Energy bills, petrol, house prices… everything has gone off scale and people are really struggling to actually live right now. People are struggling to feed their families. It's just disgusting out there right now.

So, the impact of increase in taxes, considering everything that's going on right now, would be diabolical. I think Rishi Sunak himself realizes- or I hope he realizes- with any increase of taxes I think there'll be uproar.

He's avoiding the tax increases. Fingers crossed he sticks to his word because we all know what the government's like with the suggestions and going back on things and not putting things in place that they said they were going to. And we won't talk about Boris and the side of the bus for the NHS and the figures that he misled people with.

Anyway, so everyone's asking, well, where is this going to come from? And Rishi has said it'll come from the existing budgets that's already in place, but where is that money going to be taken from to give to people? Because it's got to come from somewhere. It's not coming from the taxes. We can't physically raise taxes. That would just be diabolical, like I said.

So where, where's the money going to come from? That means cuts are going to have to be made elsewhere to fund the percentage of pay that they want to increase, and nobody knows yet, I don't think. Unless something's come out recently that I haven't seen where this money's going to come from, where these cuts being made. I want details before I sign up to anything.

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Is The Final Offer Enough?

And on Rishi Sunak's final parting words, it was a very clear, this is our final offer and one of the best offers we've given. Yet is still not enough. The percentage that they're trying to give as a pay rise, do you know what is fantastic? It's fantastic that they are looking and trying to do something, and they have given a pay offer. That's a really good start.

But it's not enough. It still doesn't meet the inflation. It's still not going to cover bills. 6% for the NHS is nothing. It is pennies in your bank balance. It's nothing. However, I will say it's nice that they've offered.

It’s not just about the pay increases; it's also about the values, and the terms and conditions... if we can make the changes needed to make a positive impact, the pay won't be as bad.

Further Strikes

Going forward, it looks like the doctors are still planning to strike. They're looking at a big 48-hour strike in September. This is for the senior doctors from what I've seen out there. So, I think urgent pay talks need to happen and need to happen now to prevent any further chaos and disruption to our NHS, and hopefully some sort of deal can be made.

I just wish that we could do something for nursing as well because at the minute we can't strike, we can't do anything. We have to accept whatever we are given right now. I don't know if there's anything else for nurses moving forward. I don't know if there's any talks at the minute. I'm not sure what's happening with nurses and what's going to happen to pay terms and conditions, and everything else that we were striking for in the first place.

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Staffing Crisis Is Still Affecting NHS Patients And Staff

There was a recent article from the RCN Chief Nurse Nicola Ranger, who spoke out and said that the fair pay and the staffing crisis is not over. So, it'll be interesting to see what the RCN's next move is in this game of chess that we're playing.

I mean, pay is a start; we need to pay nurses what they deserve and that meets inflation from all the years of the zero percent freeze cap. But terms and conditions wise, we can do this locally where we are. Why isn't there meetings being had about it? I mean, maybe there is. I don't work within an NHS Trust, so I don't know. I only know from personal experience.

Where I'm working at the minute is very, very good. My terms and conditions are great and I'm thankful and very, very fortunate to be looked after and valued so well. However, other people out there in different NHS Trusts and things like that, there should be meetings being had with all the staff to say, okay, what can we do to improve the work conditions?

Because that's a responsibility of the Trust. It's not Rishi's job to come and sort of sort out your work. He can only do so much. The government can only do so much and then it's down to the local Trust itself. The management, your manager, your team, your colleagues, everybody within that works in the trust needs to come together and say, okay, these standards aren't acceptable. Patient safety is at risk.

What can we do to change? What can we do to put things in place to protect colleagues, to protect the staff, to protect the patients in front of us and families and friends- who potentially may be a patient in future? More of those discussions need to be had in the workplace and the terms and conditions looked at properly to see if there's anything we can do to value our staff.

What Does The Future Hold?

So just to finish off, everything's very uncertain. Yes, Rishi has made an announcement that there's been an official pay guarantee of some sort, but there's nothing really for nurses. We've kind of been done by a little bit with everything going on and I'm not too sure what's going to happen.

However, hopefully locally within our Trust, we can come to some sort of agreements. We can create better work-life balance for everybody. We can value our nurses. So, it is not just about the pay increases, this isn't why everybody's on strike; it's also about the values, and the terms and conditions. And if we can get that part right locally where we are, and make the changes needed to make a positive impact, the pay won't be as bad.

I hope that makes sense. But just to put that into a little bit of context, my happiest roles have never been about pay. They've been about the terms and conditions, the people I work with, and how valued and how motivated I feel. So, if we can get that part right, the rest is going to hopefully follow.

Don't forget to check out the website for more blog articles for more videos that may be of interest. Have a great day, everyone. 

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About the author

I am a Registered Nurse with over 12 years healthcare experience including: elderly care, orthopaedics, sexual health / family planning, qualified GP nurse, transgender healthcare and now in my new role as an assistant lecturer (as of Nov 2022). I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.

    • Richard Gill
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  • 852

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      Thank you so much for you blogs and vlogs, i have been reading and listening to your lectures, and the ... read more