There has been excitement going on among my colleagues about news that we healthcare professionals working for the National Health Service here in the UK will be having a pay rise after a 1% pay freeze since 2011.
The new pay deal between the government and multiple healthcare unions mainly says that we will be having at least 6.5% up to 29% pay rise over the next three years. Having read some information given to me by my union and other posts (Doctor Oxford), this information is false and misleading like any other pay deals that this Conservative government has done (remember the junior doctor contracts?).
Let me elaborate with my very own calculations of my pay situation and am I really having at least 6.5% pay rise over three years.
Original Pay Scheme
My current annual salary is £28,746
With the current pay scheme my salary over the next three years will be:
2018/19 – £29,626 +1%* = £29,992
2019/20 – £30,661 +2%* = £31,274
2020/21 – £31,696 +3%* = £32,647
Salary increase over 3 years including increments: 13.57% (4.52% per year)
*1% pay increase every year
New Pay Scheme
On April 2018 my new salary will be: £29,117
That’s 1.29% increase (just 0.29% extra)
On my increment dates:
2018/19 – £30,070
2019/20 – £32,525
2020/21 – £33,779
Total Salary Increase including increments from current pay: 17.50%
BUT… I am supposed to get 13.52% increase from the current pay scheme anyway so technically I am only getting 3.98% extra pay increase over 3 years.
AND… Because they have changed the increment points, my salary will remain at £33,779 for the year 2021/22, so technically I am getting the 3.98% pay increase for 4 YEARS.
Although, on my 5th year (2022/23) my pay will be increasing to £37,890. That’s 31.80% increase from my current salary over 5 years; and that’s the top of my banding, if I want to continue getting increments, I will need to be promoted to Band 7.
On the current pay scheme (Agenda for Change) my salary five years from now would be £33,895 +5% = £35,590. And my increments will still continue for another year (2023/24) even if I do not get promoted to Band 7, giving me a final salary of £35,577 + 6% = £37,690.
*the 5% and 6% is the 1% pay increase every year on the current pay scheme*
Therefore, the new NHS pay deal will only give me £2,500 extra for the next 6 years, which is technically £416.66 a year.
And that’s not even the end of it.
The deal also proposes to:
– Cut unsociable hours pay for 2% over the next 3 years
– Remove unsociable enhancement on sick pay
I do not know what the figures of these changes will be on my pay but I’m sure if it doesn’t pay for the £2,500 extra they’re giving me, I might be even getting a pay cut.
I have been working for the NHS for 5 years now. I started with a basic salary of £21,176 and if God willing I am still alive for my 10th year in NHS and get a salary of £37,890, the government will have given me a total of 78.92% pay increase including increments (7.89% per year).
If you look at it, that way, it does not look too bad.
But if you compare our profession to other degree professions in different sectors, Nurses are one of the least paid and most overstretched professionals here in the UK.
To prove that, a friend of mine who is an accountant here in London with the same years of experience that I have, gets paid roughly £15-20k more than I do. With my current salary, in order to meet yearly inflation and be able to afford a holiday, I normally need to work at least 45 hours a month on top of my contract hours. No wonder a lot of nurses leave the NHS and work for agencies.
I am not complaining about anything, in fact I am grateful for at least having a job and let alone a mere 1% pay rise a year.
But with the work that we do, we are responsible for people’s health which can be literally life or death situations on a daily basis; and the physical, mental, and emotional stress that we go through every single shift, I am sorry if I feel that I deserve to be paid as much as someone who is sitting on a desk all day crunching numbers.
Is it too late for me to be an accountant?