'Higher rises to the lowest paid' as NHS workers in England set for 6.5% pay rise

NHS staff will get a 6.5% pay rise.
NHS staff will get a 6.5% pay rise.
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A deal to give NHS workers a 6.5% pay rise over three years is set to be agreed, marking the end of a seven-year wage cap.

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Leaders of unions representing more than a million workers including nurses, midwives, ambulance drivers, porters and other staff will meet employers on Wednesday to finalise the increase.

Workers will have to be consulted but it is expected they will receive higher pay from July, backdated to April.

The deal covers NHS workers in England at a cost of around £4 billion, which is new money from the Government rather than coming from existing budgets.

Money is expected to be made available for similar pay rises in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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The deal will be structured to give higher rises to the lowest paid.

Pay bands will be changed so that workers can move more quickly through their pay grade.

NHS workers have been subject to the Government's controversial public sector pay cap for seven years, limited to an annual increase of no more than 1%.

The cap has affected other workers including local government staff.