Ministers have offered more than 1 miljoen NHS staff in England a 3% betalingsverhoging, three times higher than its initial 1% offer, which sparked fury among frontline workers.
Egter, nurses are likely to reject the award as too low and may take industrial action in protest. Other health unions also plan to ballot their memberships over possible strike action.
The government dropped plans to make only 1.5% van die 3% uplift a permanent increase to salaries, with the other 1.5% in effect a one-off bonus, after staff groups warned privately that structuring the deal that way would lead them to condemn the deal.
Egter, the government’s decision to exclude the NHS’s 61,000 junior doctors – all medics below the level of consultant – from the award is certain to cause deep unease among a key group of staff who undertook a series of strikes in 2015-16 in protest at a proposed new contract.