British healthcare and ambulance workers belonging to the GMB trade union have voted to accept a government pay offer, the union said on Friday, hours after members of another union rejected it.
The offer, agreed between the government and healthcare union leaders last month, included a one-off payment equivalent to 2% of salaries in the 2022/23 financial year and a 5% pay rise for 2023/24.
GMB’s backing means the offer has been accepted by four unions representing National Health Service (NHS) workers whose members include midwives, physiotherapists and ambulance workers.
The long-running dispute has led to hundreds of thousands of NHS staff taking strike action over the last few months, adding to strains on the health service.
The NHS Staff Council, which includes representatives from NHS employers and trade unions, is due to meet on May 2 to vote on whether to accept the offer.
This new pay offer would not have happened without the strike action taken by ambulance and other GMB health workers,” said Rachel Harrison, GMB National Secretary.
“Our members recognise that progress has been made – from the government originally offering nothing, health workers will be thousands of pounds better off.”
Britain’s health minister, Steve Barclay, said Friday’s announcement showed the government’s offer was “fair and reasonable” and could end the dispute.
I’ve always said I want a fair resolution that recognises the outstanding job of NHS staff and also protects the government’s commitment to halve inflation – and I’m hopeful the NHS Staff Council accepts our offer when they meet next week,” Barclay said.