The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) has condemned the government’s 1% pay rise for the NHS staff as falling far short of delivering fair pay.
The government’s submission for the 1% increase to the Pay Review Body on 4 March has triggered a threat of strike action by NHS nurses.
Diane Cox, Chair of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, said: “As the professional body for occupational therapists, we are concerned about this proposal, which would mean NHS workers would receive a pay increase below the rate of inflation. In the aftermath of the huge effort represented by the response to the pandemic, this proposal falls far short of delivering fair pay for NHS staff.
“It is also important to recognise our members working in social care who are also frontline workers. This proposal highlights the enduring disparity of treatment between health and social care, which must be addressed.
“In addition to pay rises there is also a need to review overall working conditions for all frontline staff, as also reported by the Royal College of Nursing last week. This should include PPE advice and the need for ventilation in all indoor environments. We look forward to the government taking action on all these fronts.”
A Government Spokesperson said: “Over one million NHS staff continue to benefit from multi-year pay deals agreed with trade unions, which have delivered a pay rise of over 12% for newly qualified nurses and will increase junior doctors’ pay scales by 8.2%.
“Pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be paused this year due to the challenging economic environment, but we will continue to provide pay rises for NHS workers, on top of a £513 million investment in professional development and increased recruitment. That’s with record numbers of doctors and 10,600 more nurses working in our NHS, and with nursing university applications up by over a third.
“The independent pay review bodies will report in late spring and we will consider their recommendations carefully when we receive them.”