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Sunday, 19 March, 2000, 06:33 GMT
Chaplains reject pay offer
Nurses
Chaplains say they should be treated as health professionals
Hospital chaplains have rejected an inflation-busting pay offer by an overwhelming majority.

The three-year deal would have offered a rise of 3.25% this year.

But the 300 chaplains threw it out by a five-to-one majority.

The chaplains offer spiritual care to patients and their families, as well as staff at hospitals across the country.

The Manufacturing Science and Finance union, which represents the chaplains, says pay levels for chaplains had fallen behind workers covered by pay review bodies, including nurses and doctors.

Spiritual healing


Union spokesman Rev Graham Theobald said: "With this historic vote, hospital chaplains are telling the government to recognise the vital role they play in delivering spiritual healing to patients, their families and NHS staff."

He said the chaplains were health professionals and as such should be "properly rewarded for their professionalism in handling many physical and emotional problems."

The offer would have increased the starting salary for a hospital chaplain to 15,287 a year.

The union represents about 1,500 members of the clergy, including hospital chaplains and priests.

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22 Apr 99 | Health
NHS workers march on Whitehall
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