Rogue NHS employers, such as those in the South West Pay cartel, are undermining national negotiations and stirring up industrial unrest across the NHS, UNISON has warned. The union is calling on MPs to show their support for Agenda for Change (the NHS …

postcreative

Rogue NHS employers, such as those in the South West Pay cartel, are undermining national negotiations and stirring up industrial unrest across the NHS, UNISON has warned.

The union is calling on MPs to show their support for Agenda for Change (the NHS national pay agreement) in a parliamentary debate today or risk alienating staff including nurses, paramedics, healthcare assistants and doctors. NHS unions are holding in-depth national negotiations on changes to Agenda for Change and the attacks on staff by the South West Cartel are threatening to derail those talks.

UNISON Head of Health Christina McAnea said: “It is time to put a stop to postcode pay.  Rogue elements, such as the South West Cartel are acting irresponsibly and stirring up fear and industrial unrest among their workforce.  This is spreading across the NHS like a plague and causing massive anger and worry for staff who just want to get on with their job – caring for patients.

“NHS workers like nurses, paramedics, therapists and their families have already been hit by a two year pay freeze.  They are struggling to cope with the massive upheaval caused by the Health and Social Care Act, as well as cuts to staff and services.  National pay bargaining has a proven track record of keeping the industrial peace and we need MPs to back it.”

UNISON has sent a briefing to all Labour and Lib Dem MPs ahead of the debate as well as to all MPs in the South West region.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham’s motion says:  That this House believes national pay agreements are an important part of the infrastructure that underpins a national health service; notes reports of the statement by the Deputy Prime Minister on 14 May 2012 that there is going to be no regional pay system; notes with increasing concern attempts by twenty trusts in the South West of England to opt out of national agreements by reducing staff pay and changing terms and conditions; notes with further concern that an additional 11 trusts across England are considering similar moves; and calls on the Government to intervene without delay and uphold the principle of national pay arrangements in the NHS.

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw has also tabled a motion in Parliament tomorrow, reading: That this House believes national pay agreements are an important part of the infrastructure that underpins a national health service; notes the statement by the Deputy Prime Minister ruling out regional pay in the main public services; notes with increasing concern attempts by twenty trusts in the South West of England to opt out of national agreements by reducing staff pay and changing terms and conditions; notes with further concern that an additional 11 trusts across England are considering similar moves; and calls on the Government to intervene without delay and uphold the principle of national pay arrangements in the NHS.

Encouraging the South West’s MPs to back the motion, Nigel Costley, regional secretary of the South West TUC, said: “Regional pay will not help create a single new job in the private sector, and can only do harm to already struggling local economies.

“Our MPs should recognise depth of feeling against regional pay in their constituencies and take the opportunity to send it packing by voting against it, sending out a strong message to ministers they should  drop these ill-thought out plans and concentrate instead on policies that will tackle unemployment and increase the region’s chances of creating economic growth.”

The South West TUC will log on its campaigning website  how the region’s MPs vote in the debate.

* The RCM has written to MPs in the South West, asking them to vote against regional pay today.

Chief executive Cathy Warwick said: “We are extremely concerned that trusts that move away from national agreements so that they can pay staff less could damage recruitment and retention of desperately needed midwives in your area. It should be remembered that the south west is a net importer of NHS professionals; making the region less competitive therefore will discourage healthcare workers from elsewhere from coming to work in the NHS in the South West, leading to shortages.”

 

 


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
Author avatar

postcreative