More than 80 per cent of nurses believe their trust would fail to honour a proposed deal not to make compulsory redundancies over the next two years if they agreed to forego a pay rise, according to an poll by HSJ’s sister title Nursing Times.

The government’s pay negotiator NHS Employers has proposed freezing increments for two years from April in exchange for a “no compulsory redundancy” agreement.

All Agenda for Change staff would have their increments frozen, but only those in pay bands one to six earning up to £34,189 would benefit from the “no compulsory redundancy” agreement.

At least 12 chief executives have so far added their names to a letter circulated by NHS Employers to garner formal support from trusts for the deal, which is likely to be agreed at a local level by union representatives and individual trusts.

However, early results from an online poll of nearly 1,500 Nursing Times readers suggests the profession has little faith in their employers’ willingness or ability to honour the deal, if it was agreed at their trust.

A quarter of respondents said they had no confidence at all that their organisation would honour its side of the bargain and make no compulsory redundancies, due to a “bad track record on honesty”.

A further 56 per cent said they were not very confident their employer would keep to the agreement, as “nothing was sacred in the present climate”.