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Most health workers vote for three-year pay deal.

MEMBERS of the biggest health workers' union have voted to accept the Government's three-year pay deal.

Unison, which represents almost 500,000 NHS employees, said its members voted in favour of the offer by 64.9%, it emerged yesterday.

The offer, worth almost 8% over the next three years, has also been accepted by the Royal College of Nursing, although some other unions, including the Royal College of Midwives and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have rejected it.

Karen Jennings, Unison's head of health said: "The 2.75% on offer this year is the best in the public sector and the three-year deal offers stability.

"However, the rising costs of everyday items such as food, fuel and energy obviously make members wary about being locked into a three-year deal.

"That is why we negotiated a re-opener clause that we will not hesitate to trigger if inflation continues to rise."

The RCN also announced that its members had backed the pay rise by92%. Richard Jones, interim director in Wales, added, "This is deal is a step in the right direction towards a pay settlement for nurses. It will allow us to reopen negotiations should the need arise and offers enhanced pay for members starting their nursing career."

Dame Karlene Davis, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, whose members rejected the offer, said "We think this is a bad deal for midwives and other NHS staff."
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 7, 2008
Words:236
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