A leading trade union is warning the Government not to “pick off” different groups of health workers for special treatment.
A separate pay structure for nurses is not the answer to wage-grading problems in the NHS, Unison said.
Nurses belonging to the union are set to voice “concern and anger” over the Government’s promise to consider an “exclusive” pay spine for nurses.
Delegates at Unison’s annual health conference in Bournemouth will call on ministers and employers to support nurses to get the right pay and banding for the jobs they do.
It shows how the workforce is expected to develop new skills and responsibilities, but these are not acknowledged by their pay grades, officials said.
Most of those surveyed said changes in their role mean they are now required to deliver more complex care and have greater responsibility for supervising and assessing junior staff and trainees.
Delegates will argue that the NHS must pay properly for the services nurses provide, not by taking years to set up another free-standing pay structure solely for nurses.
Unison’s head of health Sara Gorton said: “A separate pay spine is absolutely the wrong thing to do. It risks breaking up the entire Agenda for Change pay system and would cause chaos for no good reason.
“NHS workers rightly see themselves as being part of the same team. Picking off groups of workers for special treatment is not what they want or need.
“Ministers shouldn’t be looking at unstitching the system. The way to tackle inconsistencies is for a wholesale review of grades with regular monitoring to check every job is paid properly for the work done and the skills needed.”