Southport Reporter - You local online newspaper for Merseyside and the Liverpool City Region.

  .Sign up to get our FREE email news bulletins.  


News Report Page 7 of 15
Publication Date:-
News reports located on this page = 2.

Government and Health Unions agree pay deal paving way for an end to strike action

MORE than 1 million NHS staff in England will receive an additional pay rise as part of an offer made following talks between the Government and Agenda for Change unions.

In the last 2 weeks, the Government has been holding formal negotiations with unions representing staff including:- Nurses, Paramedics, 999 Call Handlers, Midwives, Security Guards and Cleaners, to find a fair and reasonable way forward on pay.

All parties committed to finding a fair deal for hardworking NHS staff, and a deal that also acknowledged the wider economic pressures facing the United Kingdom that would ensure we can deliver the Prime Minister's promise to halve inflationn; 1 of his 5 priorities.

The Government hugely values the work of NHS staff. They showed bravery and dedication to support the country throughout the Pandemic and are now playing a vital role in the Government's ambition to cut the waiting lists that have built up as a result of Covid.

The Government also recognises that families across the country are facing increasing financial pressures, fuelled by the war in the Ukraine and the ongoing fallout from the Pandemic.

The talks have been constructive and the Government has now put forward a final offer.

The RCN, UNISON, GMB, CSP and BDA; will recommend the offer to their members in consultations that will be held over the coming weeks. Strike action will continue to be paused while they are consulted.

Under the deal, Agenda for Change staff will receive a non-consolidated award of 2% of an individuals' salary for 2022/23.

This is on top of the pay increase of at least 4% they received for 2022/23 last year, as recommended by the independent Pay Review Body process, worth at least £1,400, meaning a newly qualified nurse received a 5.5% increase and those on the lowest salaries received a pay rise of 9.3%.

In addition, they will receive a 1, off:- 'NHS Backlog Bonus' which recognises the sustained pressure facing the NHS following the Pandemic and the extraordinary effort staff have been making to hit backlog recovery targets and meet the Prime Minister's promise to cut waiting lists.

The backlog bonus will be worth at least £1,250 per person but will be determined based on how much experience staff have and based on an individual's pay band. The average nurse in pay band 5, for example, will receive £1,350.

For 2023/24, the Government is offering Agenda for Change staff a 5% consolidated increase in pay, worth at least £1,065.

As a result of this package, a newly qualified nurse will see their salary go up by more than £2,750 over two years from 2021/22 to 2023/24. On top of this they will also receive over £1,890 in 1 off payments this year.

The deal will also provide a higher pay uplift for the lowest paid NHS staff, with all those in bands 1 and 2 having their pay raised to the same level.

The Government can guarantee that there will be no impact on frontline services or the quality of care that patients receive as a result of this pay offer.

The Government firmly believes this is a fair and reasonable deal for Agenda for Change staff, as well as being a fair deal for taxpayers and will ensure we can continue to reduce inflation.

It remains the Prime Minister's promise to halve inflation and the Government's objective to support the Bank of England to return inflation to the 2% target; because failing to control inflation will make every household poorer and make it harder to grow the economy.

On top of the pay package, the Government is also committing to a number of reforms.

NHS staff should work in an environment that is free from deliberate violence, abuse and aggression. The Government will ask the existing groups established in the NHS Social Partnership Forum working on violence reduction to work with the NHS Staff Council to identify ways to tackle and reduce violence against NHS staff.

It will also make the suspension of pension abatement rules introduced during the Pandemic permanent and introduce measures to ensure safer staffing levels in hospitals.

In addition, the Health and Social Care Secretary has written to the RCN to outline that in undertaking work to address the specific challenges faced by nursing staff; in terms of recruitment, retention and professional development; this will involve how to take account of the changing responsibilities of nursing staff, and the design and implementation issues, including scope and legal aspects, of a separate pay spine for nursing staff exclusively.

The Government intends to complete this work such that resulting changes can be delivered within the 2024/25 pay year. In conducting it, the Government will also consider whether any separate measures may apply to other occupational groups, taking into account the views of NHS Employers and unions.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:- "I'm really pleased that after several weeks of constructive talks, the Government and the Agenda for Change unions have come to an agreement that will provide a fair deal for NHS staff and put disruptive strike action behind us. It is right that we reward our hardworking NHS staff, who showed bravery and dedication throughout the Pandemic and continue to make phenomenal progress to tackle waiting lists. Importantly this deal is also affordable for the taxpayer and continues to deliver on my promise to halve inflation. We have taken a reasonable approach throughout and this offer is good for NHS staff, it's good for the taxpayer and most importantly it is good news for patients whose care will no longer be disrupted by strike action."

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:- "I hugely admire the incredible work of NHS staff, including during the Pandemic and the progress they have made to tackle the resulting backlog. This offer will give nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists and other non-medical staff a fair pay rise while protecting our commitment to halve inflation. We have engaged in constructive and meaningful discussions with unions and NHS Employers and I look forward to continuing our work together to make the NHS a better place to work."

PPI reveals that 1 in 3 working single mothers are 'locked out' of workplace pension saving

THIS Single Parents Day, on 21 March 2023, new research reveals that 1 in 3 of all working single mothers are ineligible for a workplace pension under current auto enrolment rules despite 59% being employed. Consequently, working single mothers have missed out on over £852m in pension savings since the introduction of auto enrolment in 2012.

Since it was introduced, auto enrolment has transformed how millions of people in the UK save for their pension. Yet for far too many in our society, a comfortable retirement remains out of reach, usually through no fault of their own.

The research, conducted by NOW: Pensions, the pension provider for almost 2 million people and the PPI shows that there are currently over 1.59 million single mothers in the UK, but only a fraction are saving into a workplace pension. Of those single mothers who are eligible for workplace pensions, they will be saving an average of £885 per year into their pension, compared to the UK average of £1,573.

The number of single mothers working part time is at 54% compared to the UK average of 21%. The high proportion of part time workers means that they might not meet the eligibility criteria as pension saving is only triggered once earning £10,000 in a single role. Therefore, single mothers are not only missing out on a workplace pension, but vital employer contributions too.

In comparison to single fathers, the startling statistics reveal that single mothers may have to work an additional 28 years (until age 93) to retire with the same amount of money as a man. Whereas, single fathers may only need to work an additional 3 years to age 68.

The data reveals that over a 40 year career, (assuming no career breaks), single mothers will reach retirement with a private pension income total of £48,000. Yet, the PLSA's retirement living standards suggest an income of £12,800 per year is needed for a 'minimum lifestyle'. A woman retiring at age 65 can expect to live for another 22 years, meaning that they face significant pension poverty.

Childcare and the juggle struggle... Stats published by the TUC on 10 March 2023, have revealed that the average full time Nursery place is now almost £15,000 per year, with 1 in 4 parents saying the cost of childcare is now more than 75% of their take home pay.

Research published by single parent charity, Gingerbread, highlights that whilst there has been an increase in jobs being advertised with flexible working:- 7 out of 10 jobs, are still not suitable. As a result, there is a growing trend for single mothers to seek:- 'fully flexible' working and zero hours contracts.

Victoria Benson, Chief Executive of Gingerbread, the charity that supports single parents said:- "We already know that too many single parents are locked out of quality work and it's devastating to see they are also likely to be locked into pension poverty. More needs to be done to better support single parents throughout their working lives and beyond. It's not right that such a large section of our society will continue to experience hardship well into retirement simply because they parent alone."

NOW - Pensions are supportive of the Private Member's Bill to increase pension saving for single mothers The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has backed MP Jonathan Gullis' Private Member's Bill on plans to expand auto enrolment. The bill, seeks two extensions to auto enrolment, abolishing the lower earnings limit for contributions and reducing the age for being automatically enrolled to 18.  If single mothers could pay into their pension on the very 1st £1 of earnings, they would increase their annual pension contributions to £1,385 (+56%) which means over a 40-year career they could have a pension pot of £75,125.

Samantha Gould, Head of Campaigns at NOW: Pension commented:- "As a working single mother myself, I know all too well that the cost of childcare is a huge obstacle for single-parent households. Working single parents must juggle work and caring responsibilities meaning that they are more likely to reduce their working hours or stop working altogether. Through no fault of their own, too many single mothers are locked out of the auto enrolment system, unable to earn enough to put money aside for later so find themselves on the wrong side of a growing pension savings gap. We must ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to save for their futures and build an adequate savings pot for later in life."

Visit:- FairPensionsForAll.Com to read more about how we are fighting pension inequality.

Back Next
News Report Audio Copy

This Edition's Main Sponsor:- Holistic Realignment

This Edition's Main:- Holistic Realignment - Your local, fully qualified sports therapist. Call now on:- 07870382109 to book an appointment.



Please support local businesses like:-
Mind Games Southport

 Kings Plaice - Southport - Merseyside

Our live webcams...



This is a live image that reloads every 30 seconds.

An Image from our Southport Webcam above. To see it live, please click on image.

See the view live webcamera images of the road outside our studio/newsroom in the hart of Southport.

An Image from our Southport Webcam above. To see it live, please click on image.


Please support local businesses like:-

Get your business noticed

Our aim is to provide you not only the current news, but also to help promote our local areas diverse and rich history, our innovative businesses, along with our amazing culture. We can only do this with your help and support though advertising. Fine out how you can get your business advertised on here and help you business get seen.

Click here.

Click on to find out why the moon changes phases.  
This is the current phase of the moon. For more lunar related information, please click on here.

Disability Confident - Committed


Find out whats on in and around Merseyside!

This is just 1 of the events on our event calendar, click on
here to see lots more!

This online newspaper and information service is regulated by IMPRESS, the UK Press Regulator.

This online newspaper and information service is regulated by IMPRESS the independent monitor for the UK's press.

This is our process:-
Policy - Complaints Procedure - Whistle Blowing Policy

Contact us:-


Calls will cost 7p per minute, plus your telephone company's access charge.
Calls to this number may be recorded for security, broadcast, training and record keeping.

Click on to see our Twitter Feed.   Click on to see our Facebook Page.   This website is licence to carry news from and UK Press Photography. Click on to see our Twitter Feed.

Our News Room Office Address

Southport and Mersey Reporter, 4a Post Office Ave,
Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0US, UK

Tracking & Cookie Usage Policy - Terms & Conditions
  - Southport Reporter® is the Registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.