Tuesday, 30 April 2013

NHS Pay - We need members views

The Government has accepted a recommendation from the Pay Review Body that all Agenda for Change pay points should be increased by 1% from 1 April in employing organisations in England. The Health Service Group is consulting you about how members want UNISON to respond to this pay settlement.

Pay for NHS staff is set by the Government, based on recommendations from the NHS Pay Review Body. In making their recommendations, the Pay Review Body (PRB) considers evidence on recruitment, retention, morale and motivation, economic and affordability issues. UNISON submits detailed evidence in writing to the PRB (usually in the Autumn of each year) and is then called to give oral evidence in support of the arguments we make. Their recommendations this year are included overleaf.

Since it has been in office, the Coalition Government has restricted the remit of the PRB, instructing them only to make recommendations which fit within Coalition pay policy. This means that the PRB has not been able to recommend pay settlements which reflect the increases in costs facing NHS staff. As agreed at Health Conference last year, the Service Group Executive will be consulting Regional Health Committees about our future policy on the PRB and whether our union should explore different ways that NHS pay could be determined - delegates to Health Conference (April 22-24 2013) will also be debating this issue, but we need to get a snapshot of the way members feel about pay this year and what they want the union’s support to do about it.

Why are we consulting on a pay settlement?
Although pay for NHS staff is not determined by collective bargaining where we negotiate directly with the Government/employers each year, this doesn’t mean we cannot challenge the pay settlement. 1% falls well below the union’s aspirations for members, and we know that most members have seen the value of their wages fall by 8-12% since 2010 and that many are experiencing hardship as a result.

We need members views on whether they want to accept the 1% pay increase, or whether you would be prepared to take some sort of action to get an improved pay offer. Please let us know what you think by contacting the branch on unison@n-somerset.gov.uk or by phoning 01934 634759.

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