A proposed three-year pay deal for nurses has divided health unions, with midwives and health visitors refusing to sign up to the agreement.
The Royal College of Midwives, Unite/CPHVA and the GMB have not recommended the deal to members.
NT understands that the unions are unwilling to sign up to the deal because they claim they were not given sufficient time to consider implications for their members.
The proposals were drawn up by the RCN, Unison and the government in secret meetings over the last few weeks and would apply to all NHS staff on Agenda for Change pay scales
RCM general secretary Dame Karlene Davis said midwives were prepared to accept the 2.75% recommended by the pay review body for 2008/2009 – but not the three year 7.9% deal negotiated by unions and the government.
Ms Davis said: ‘The RCM believes that the proposed long-term settlement for the two years after the PRB recommendation represents a potential real-terms cut in the pay of staff in the NHS. We are not prepared to recommend this to our members given trends in the economy and prospects for inflation.’
Kevin Coyne, Unite/CPHVA head of health, said: ‘We have had insufficient time to look at the detail.’
Sharon Holder, GMB national officer for public services added that the unions would consult with members over the proposals – but added they were unlikely to accept.
‘Our members are being hammered by utility bills. Everything has been done at the last minute, we have not had time to consider what the package will mean.’
Mike Jackson, Unison senior national officer, said other staff side organisations had been kept updated about the negotiations through telephone conversations and face-to-face meetings.
He added: ‘It is not true that they weren’t consulted. Other unions had agreed to informal discussions in a small group led by Unison and the RCN.’