NHS staff feel 'taken for granted'

Health staff put in £1.5 billion of unpaid overtime every year so deserve a decent pay rise, the Government will be told today during protests by NHS workers.

Dept of Health: Our staff are 'greatest asset'

The NHS recognises that its staff are its "greatest asset, but "cannot afford" a general payrise in a time of "severe funding restraint" a Department of Health spokesperson has said.

"That's why at a time of severe funding restraint we have been clear that they should receive at least 1% additional pay this year and next.

We cannot afford a general pay rise on top of incremental pay increases of up to 6% without risking frontline jobs and safe staffing levels.

We are disappointed that the unions rejected our offer to discuss any alternative proposals on pay, within an available budget of nearly £1 billion."

More: Union: Workers give '£1.5bn' of unpaid overtime to NHS

Union: Workers give '£1.5bn' of unpaid overtime to NHS

The Trades Union Congress, representing 14 health unions, said its research showed that health staff in England were "donating" £1.5 billion worth of unpaid overtime every year.

Unions said that by 2015/16 NHS staff would have had their pay capped for six years.

Pay was frozen in 2011 and 2012, and limited to 1% last year.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Every year, hard-working health service staff put in many extra hours which they don't get paid for.

These efforts save the government a hefty £1.5 billion a year, but even though this unpaid overtime is effectively keeping the NHS going, health service employees increasingly feel that the government is taking them for granted."

More: NHS staff feel 'taken for granted'

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NHS staff feel 'taken for granted'

General view of a road sign for a Hospital and Accident and Emergency department. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive

Health staff put in £1.5 billion of unpaid overtime every year so deserve a decent pay rise, the Government will be told today during protests by NHS workers.

Nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, paramedics, hospital cleaners and other NHS staff will take part in demonstrations against a controversial decision by the coalition Government not to accept a recommended 1% across the board wage rise for workers in England.