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Latest below-inflation award for NHS staff comes after a “brutal decade of pay cuts and freezes”

Nurses and paramedics will suffer a real-terms pay cut of over £1,000 this year after today's (Tuesday) imposed pay settlement for NHS workers, the TUC has revealed.

The union body says key workers across the NHS face another year of “pay misery” after  more than a decade of having their wages held down.

TUC analysis shows that many frontline staff will see their pay packets shrink this year: 

  • Hospital porters’ real pay will be down by £200 this year 
  • Maternity care assistants’ real pay will be down by £600 this year 
  • Nurses’ real pay will be down by over £1,100 this year 
  • Paramedics’ real pay will be down by over £1,500 this year 

Years of pay suppression

The TUC says that key workers in the NHS have already endured a “brutal decade” of pay cuts and pay freezes.

New analysis by the union body shows that:

  • Nurses’ real pay is still down £4,300 compared to 2010
  • Porters’ real pay is still down by £1,300 compared to 2010
  • Maternity care assistants’ real pay is still down by £3,200 compared to 2010
  • Paramedics’ real pay is still down by £5,600 compared to 2010

The TUC says that stagnant wages have played a major role in the “crippling staff shortages” that vital NHS services are facing.

Commenting on the pay settlement, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Our amazing NHS workers put their lives on the line to get us through the pandemic.

“This is no way to repay that service.

“This below-inflation award will hit morale at a time when staff are leaving in droves and staff shortages are crippling vital services.”

On workers being pushed into hardship, Frances added: 

“NHS workers have already endured a brutal decade of pay cuts and freezes.

“Many are at breaking point and cannot afford to have their wages held down further – especially in the middle of the worst cost of living crisis in generations.

“Ministers should be giving nurses and other NHS staff the fair pay rise they have earned – not driving them towards foodbanks.

“This is a government that is happy for City bonuses to go through the roof. But it won’t lift a finger to help ordinary workers make a decent living.”

Editors note

Real wage losses


Change in annual real pay since 2010

Real term pay loss this year




Medical secretaries



Nursery Nurse



Maternity Care Assistants

Speech and Language Therapy Assistants




Community nurses


Radiographer Specialist 




Hospital midwife

Pay data comparing wages in 2010 and in 2022 is adjusted for inflation using CPI – comparing 2010 wages in real terms today (if they had kept up with the cost of living) with 2022 wages.

Pay data taken from NHS Agenda for Change pay scales (at top of band) and includes NHS PRB recommendations for 2022.

City bonuses

TUC analysis published this month shows bonuses in the financial and insurance sector grew by 27.9% over the last year, six times faster than average wages in the same period, which grew by 4.2%.

- About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.


TUC press office   020 7467 1248 

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