Employers’ bid to replace national negotiations with regional deals would drive down pay and conditions, warns UNISON

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Plans to set up a pay cartel across 16 hospital trusts in the South West will damage patient care, UNISON has warned.

As more than 100 health workers yesterday protested outside Poole Hospital, the union said plans to scrap the national deal – Agenda for Change – and negotiate regionally would drive down down pay and conditions.

UNISON Head of Health Christina McAnea said: “The setting up of this pay cartel is a crude attempt to drive down wages, which in turn will damage the quality of patient care in all sixteen trusts.

Nurses, healthcare assistants, porters, cleaners, occupational therapists – all health staff deserve better. Patients across the South West deserve better. The cartel will lead to shortages of key staff who will vote with their feet and move to hospitals where the pay is better and patients will be the ones who suffer.

“Cutting wages of hospital workers will also have a knock-on effect on already depressed economies in the South West. Health workers are already suffering from a two year pay freeze and this further assault on their pay and conditions will hit morale as well as their spending power.

“We do not want rogue employers threatening to undermine the stability of national pay bargaining and Agenda for Change. It is not too late for those sixteen trusts to do the right thing by their patients and staff and drop this damaging and divisive plan.”


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