P R E S S     R E L E A S E

4th December 2000

For immediate release


Representatives of 5,000 NHS Pharmacists have rejected a two year pay offer from the Department of Health of a 3.25% increase for 2000 and an offer for 2001 based on an increase of 0.5% above the underlying rate of inflation at December 2000.

Section General Secretary Gerry Looker said

"The 2000 offer is less than that awarded to other NHS staff covered by the Pay Review Body award. Pharmacists are excluded from the Pay Review Body. The 2001 offer would mean an increase below the prevailing RPI, hence in real terms a pay cut and finally the Department of Health are proposing to break with the well established custom and practice of linking any pay offer to an uplift in payments for Emergency Duty Cover.

"The representatives are extremely angry. The Department of Health rationale behind this offer is seriously flawed. There are major problems in the NHS around recruitment and retention of Pharmacists, exacerbated by the increase in demand for members of this profession in the private sector. This offer will only make matters even worse.

Futhermore the erosion to Emergency Duty Payments will undermine out of hours service contrary to the government's NHS Modernising Agenda."

For further information contact

Gerry Looker, Section General Secretary GHP Tel 0115 9609100

Ron Pate, Staff Side Chair, GHP, Tel 01384 244430

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