Twenty South West trusts are collaborating to drive down pay and conditions for NHS workers

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A petition calling on the government to quash the NHS pay cartel in the South West is fast approaching 20,000 signatures.

Twenty NHS trusts are collaborating on radical changes to pay and conditions, and the creation of a regional pay system that could cut pay, terms and conditions for nurses, doctors and other healthcare staff by up to 15%. UNISON is warning the cartel is not only unfair to local health staff, but threatens to undermine national negotiations on pay and conditions for the UK’s 1.5 million health workers.

UNISON head of health Christina McAnea said: “Not only are their plans unfair – health workers are already facing years of pay restraint – they also threaten to derail on-going national negotiations, covering pay and conditions for health workers across the UK. Breaking national pay agreements will undo years of work creating a level playing field for pay and conditions across the NHS.

“Patients will pay the ultimate price as workers who can move to areas where wages are higher will do so, leaving NHS trusts in low wage areas struggling with staff shortages.

“This will be bad for the NHS, bad for patients and bad for all NHS staff across the UK. Local pay hurts the local economy, compromises patient safety, seriously damages staff morale and creates instability in the workforce at a time when the NHS is going through unprecedented change.”

* The petition asking the government to be scrapped can be signed here.


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