RepsDirect No 321 - 27 October 2004

Head of Health, Gail Cartmail General Secretary, Derek Simpson

Amicus digs in to secure Speech and Language Therapy Enderby gains

There is much misunderstanding about the nature of the Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) equal value claim. However what is known that following the Enderby judgement many more SLTs negotiated to be on Whitley Band 3 and above than were at this level prior to the judgement. Therefore Amicus was concerned that SLTs feared that Agenda for Change (AFC) would not deliver the same levels of pay as Enderby.

Members have had these fears exacerbated by claims that “SLTs will lose £10,000”. This is no respondent to our survey who is losing salary approaching this level. For this to happen it would take starting rates for qualified SLTs to below the minimum wage in the NHS. Indeed it is widely recognised that new and recently qualified SLTs will gain pay under AFC.

The results from the Early Implementer sites are mixed. The impact is also mixed within sites. As much is known as is unknown.

A summary of the results across sites is as follows:

Aintree Hospitals Trust: Just one colleague potentially on pay protection. Amicus confident of a positive review outcome.
Central Cheshire PCT: Following “rogue matching” we are awaiting to for SLTs to undergo the process again starting from scratch. The AfC Project team accepted our advice that the earlier matching decisions should be disregarded and the JE guidance has been strnegthened to ensure other panels do not make the same mistakes.
City Hospitals Sunderland: Most colleagues seeking a review of matching outcomes and a grievance over process issues.
Great Yarmouth PCT: No SLT is on pay protection. Quite the reverse predominantly pay advance.
Guys and St Thomas Hospital Trust: One SLT on short term pay protection.
Hereford PCT: Mixed results. Amicus has just agreed to co-ordinate applications for a review of matching outcomes.
West Kent Social Care Trust: This is a small service. Matching meets “members expectations”.

There are issues with understanding the breadth of knowledge possessed by a Community SLT. Staff Side has submitted a list of profiling priorities, which includes a Generic Community Therapist (Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy). Another proposal is for a Generic Senior AHP Consultant (knowledge level 8) putting postholders in Band 8d and possibly into Band 9.

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