RepsDirect No 625 - 19 March 2007



From
Head of Health, Kevin Coyne General Secretary, Derek Simpson

NHS pay: STATEMENT BY NHS TRADES UNIONS

At the NHS staff council meeting on 16th March the unions voiced their dismay over this year's pay award for NHS staff and the following statement was issued:

STATEMENT FROM STAFF SIDE OF STAFF COUNCIL

At a meeting of the NHS Staff Council today (16.03.07) NHS Trades Unions (TUs) formally stated their initial response to the announcement by the Government that they will stage the recommendation by the independent Nurses and Other Health Professions (NOHPRB) review body of a pay uplift for 2007/08 of 2.5 per cent.

NHS TUs expressed the anger of their members but also the sense that staff have that all their efforts to deliver improved care are not being valued by Government or employers.

NHS TUs also welcomed the announcement by Scotlandís Health Minister (13.03.07) that in Scotland the NOHPRB recommendations would be paid from 1st April, implementing the review bodyís recommendations in full.

NHS TUs were dismayed by the employers' reaction at the Staff Council that had the review bodyís recommendation not been staged, employers wouldnít have been able to afford to pay 2.5 per cent in any case. This brings into question the integrity of the pay process. The Trade Unions were also critical that the NHS Employers had supported the Government's staged below inflation increase rather than support their own staff.

NHS TUs believe that with inflation currently running at 4.2% (RPI), the real terms pay cut represented by the staged award can only further damage morale, recruitment and retention and ultimately patient care. In light of Scotlandís announcement on the 13th March NHS TUs urge the Government to reconsider their decision to stage the award.

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Following the staff council meeting, the unions received a letter from the NHS employers with a pay offer for staff covered by the PNC. A copy of that letter is attached together with the staff side initial response. In light of the situation which has now arisen on pay, there will be a recalled amicus health sector national committee on 18th April and reps are asked, before that date ,to feed back to their delegates on the HSNC and to their regional officers their members' views on this situation and any proposals for action to challenge the situation.

Reps are urged to encourage members to write to their MPs expressing their dismay over the government's action over pay. A model letter is attached but members and reps should feel free to amend it however they wish - the important thing is to send as many letters as possible to demonstrate NHS staff's feelings.

If you have any question arising from this edition of Reps Direct please contact your Regional Officer.


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