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THE BIG QUESTION

The big question: should Agenda for Change pay be protected?

Should Agenda for Change pay be protected? Do you think it will be? Will regional pay work? Add your comments and they could be published in the magazine

The government is pressing ahead with attempts to introduce regional pay in the public sector, sparking union warnings of massive wage cuts for employees in some parts of the country.

Should Agenda for Change be protected? Do you think it will be? Are there any reasons why people should be paid different amounts for doing the same job?

Unison has said that changing the pay rates of public sector workers, including NHS staff, to reflect regional differences would be an “unworkable, divisive nightmare.”

What do you think?

Readers' comments (9)

  • It is important that Nurses have a National pay deal we do the same job regardless of where we live. London weighting could be increased or the area it applies to expanded.

    I believe this is a very cynical ploy by the government to divide and rule NHS employees, it frightens them that we are a large and potentially powerful workforce.

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  • I can see both sides of the debate here. Whilst there should be a minimum wage for a nurse in the UK, and a recognition of what the job entails, i think it is important to see this from the government perspective as well.

    It is important that local NHS wages are in line with other local wages, if the public sector is not to distort the labour market. Someone who works in London does have a higher cost of living than in some other areas of the country. BUT likewise people who live in other major cities also have high cost of living.

    I feel Sarah makes a good point that we could have a national pay deal and then increased weighting in areas of the country that are more expensive.

    However at the end of the day, you should be paid not in relation to what everyone else gets paid nationally, but in relation to what the local wage is.

    As a nurse in London, even as a band 7 on AfC, i am unable to afford a mortgage on anything more than a 1 bed flat that is 1hr away from where i work. However the same wage in some other parts of the country will allow me to buy a 3 bedroom semi detached house.

    Whilst i am not saying that nurses in other areas of the country should be paid less, there are significant differences between living costs and the government is right to look at this. However it should be done on a region basis and not on an individual trust basis, otherwise this will increase competition between adjacent trusts and spiraling wage costs.

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  • Should it be? Yes. Nurses are vastly underpaid as a profession and AFC already gives us a bare minimum standard for what we should be earning, especially at band 5 and 6. Extra pay for working in larger cities (not just London) can easily be incorporated just like the military incorporate extra pay for tours of duty or serving abroad.

    Will it be? Of course not. Nurses are spineless, apathetic and could not give a damn toss about their profession as a whole, so will just bend over at take whatever the government dish out and then mumble, complain and bitch amongst themselves.

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  • Perhaps NHS staff should be paid according to results and qualifications so for example a particular afc band would be busted down to the next lower level if they demonstrated a poor score with an infection control audit or patients coming out of that particular ward were not mostly satisfied with the care or the hospital overall were not meeting all care targets-that would certainly wake up a few of my own complacent colleagues!

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  • Anonymous | 9-May-2012 1:15 pm very well, lets take that idea and run with it then shall we?

    Paid by qualifications: Degree or equivalent (ie diploma plus experience) MINIMUM 21,000 a year as a graduate. Further in post training and taking into account CPD, lets call that an extra few grand a year, then those who have a Masters, an extra £5000 a year on top of that minimum. (Certain private sector professions demand no less). So thats MINIMUM 25,000 a year for a basic band 5 and rising.

    Paid by results? Brilliant. Bring it on! How many patients did I care for today that is above the maximum recommended levels? How many lives did I save? How much health advice did I give? How much paperwork did I fill in? How many other jobs/roles did I fill, should I add their yearly wage too? Hell, lets just round it all of to a neat 5000 a year on top of the basic salary eh? Hey, a basic band 5 is already on 30,000 a year!!!

    Paid by qualifications and results? They wouldn't dare do that!

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  • Payed by qualification and results-they wouldent dare do that! Well they did not so long ago-it was only in 2004 that AFC was introduced. Prior to which trusts had a considerable time when they were able to set their own salary parameters when Whitley aws abolished. In our trust if you were sucssful in achieving four or more of your PDR outcomes at yearly review you received an additional pay rise as well as your next point of whatever scale you were on as well as the inflation upgrade.

    There is the opportunity for this again with talk of regional pay bargaining and what with foundation freedoms on pay all one has to do is go for it-all restrictions are off once national pay rates go but I am afraid completing paerwork, saving lives and giving health advice would be basic expectations to be fulfilled in the role-so no bonus just for doing the job.

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  • Anonymous | 9-May-2012 4:07 pm why not? Bankers, politicians and everyone else seems to get bonuses just for doing their job? Why can't we?

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  • Chief Execs get bounus payments as well. All aboard the gravy train! Toot, toot!

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  • Rather than paying us on where we live, why do we not get paid for what we do?

    I work in a very busy medical admissions unit, often have a number fo very sick patients, confused, wandering, at risk of falls, whilst moving and admitting patients in order that A&E do not have 4 hour breaches.

    And yet, I earn the same as the nurses who work in easier, less stressful situations. Should we not be paid based on what we do (as AfC was meant to do)?

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