The health union Unite/CPHVA has warned government ministers not to hijack NHS pay negotiations by proposing a below inflation pay award for 2008 before the results of the independent Pay Review Body (PRB) have come through.
Unite/CPHVA say they are angry that the government has proposed to the PRB only a 2% increase for nurses, midwives and therapists.
They are concerned that 2008 will bring a repetition of last year's pay negotiations where the PRB recommended a 2.5% pay increase but ministers imposed a staged increase worth 1.9% per year.
Unite along with other unions have called for a pay award "significantly above" the current rate of inflation of 3.9%.
Unite Head of Health Kevin Coyne said: "We want to avoid the situation where ministers indicate what they will award before the PRB started its deliberations in earnest.
"What is the point of having an independent PRB, if ministers ultimately reject its findings, as they did this year?
"We are confident that the PRB will make its recommendations independently based on the merits of the evidence, and not by preemptive misterial dictat. We call on ministers to honour the PRB findings when they are announced by March next year."