Following our article last month on Agenda for Change (AfC) a number of members have asked what will happen to the Pay Review Body (PRB) report and the pay increase for 2003/2004. Colin Adkins writes.
As part of the AfC proposals the Department of Health has offered a ten per cent increase over three years. 3.225 per cent will be paid in April 2003 and again in April 2004 and April 2005. This will be paid on current Whitley scales and on the Agenda for Change scales in the Early Implementer sites.
These sites are:
James Paget Healthcare NHS Trust
Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital NHS Trust
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Trust
Papworth Hospital NHS Trust
Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust
West Kent NHS and Social Care Trust
Herefordshire NHS Primary Care Trust
Central Cheshire Primary Care Trust
North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust
East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust
Therefore all other members will receive a 3.225 per cent increase on the present Whitley scales provided AfC is accepted.
As you know our evidence to the PRB (copies still available from Amicus Head Office) made a number of other suggestions for PRB action apart for a call for a substantial pay increase.
The Lead Negotiators of the Staff Side of the Nursing and Midwifery Council recently met with the Chair of the PRB Clive Booth to see whether he could take action in any areas raised by the CPHVA and other nursing organisations. We hope that this year will see the production of the PRB report 'lite' that will address some of other concerns. Obviously any proposals of this kind will have to be compatible with AfC. So we are hopeful of some additional benefits to the 3.225 per cent increase ahead of AfC for members. We will obviously keep you briefed.
Members are understandably asking questions following the recent announcement by the Department of Health on agreement reached with Staff Side organisations on proposals for a new pay system resulting from the AfC talks.
Amicus MSF thought that this announcement was premature, as it would lead members to ask questions about where they fit on the new pay scales which we are presently unable to answer as there is still a great deal of work to be done.
The main means by which your pay will be determined is by a Job Evaluation scheme that was established to determine equal pay for work of equal value in the NHS. A number of Community Practitioner and Community Nursing jobs have been evaluated and from this a broad outline of these jobs have been drawn up known as a job profile. This is the means by which local Trusts will seek to place you on the new grading structure.
Members are asking where they fit on the new pay scales. At present we are sworn to confidentiality on this key issue. We are confident that the March issue of the Community Practitioner will give you full details of where the vast majority of Community Practitioners and Community Nurses fit on the new pay scale. We have a clear picture as far as health visiting is concerned, the picture is contradictory but promising in school nursing, the picture is unclear in district nursing and community nursery nursing.
Terms and conditions are clearer. These are easily read in the document issued by the DOH, which is available from me electronically on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would ask you to wait for us to complete our work on the salary structure in community nursing and assess the whole package before coming to a judgement on the proposals.
Amicus MSF's Health National Advisory Committee will be meeting on the 27th February to discuss its attitude towards AfC. The CPHVA will be represented at this meeting by two members from the Labour Relations Committee. This meeting will make a recommendation to go to members in the consultation exercise. There will then be then be a series of members meetings followed by workplace ballots in which all members will be invited to participate.
Congestion Charging Confusion
Following the Amicus led initiative to get health workers working in the community exempted from Congestion Charges whilst carrying out their work in the zone.
According to Transport for London health visitors and community nurses using their cars for work are exempt because they have to carry confidential records. PCTs will administer the charges for their employees, which will mean our members paying the charge up front and then claiming reimbursement.
As an organisation, the CPHVA is satisfied with this arrangement as long as our members are not out of pocket for a significant length of time. It has to be a smooth operation.
Also we are not at all clear that Trusts covered by the Congestion Charging Zone are clear that they have this responsibility let alone communicated the fact to their staff working in the community. The NHS response is being co-ordinated by the HR Department of one of the large NHS Trusts in the affected area. The CPHVA has written to this Trust to seek clarification on a number of points.
We would ask all Local Representatives in affected Trusts to also make immediate contact with their HR departments to ask the following:
What procedures are in place for managers to inform NHS staff working in the community about the charging/reimbursement arrangements?
If the Local Reps could then report the response to Colin Adkins at Colin.Adkins@amicus-m.org or on 020 7505 3167.