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Pay negotiators may focus on better conditions

  • 8 Comments

Unions have hinted they may seek better working conditions over significant salary rises in this year’s pay negotiations due to the public sector spending squeeze.

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Nursing unions and government negotiators are due to begin discussions on a new pay deal for staff with Agenda for Change contracts later this year, which come into force in 2011.

The final part of the pay rise from the previous three-year agreement, worth 2.54 per cent, is due to come into force from April. But the Conservatives have already threatened to freeze public sector pay should they win the next election.

Speaking at a union pay seminar last week, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “We know that bargaining will be hard.

“As well as fighting hard to improve pay and defend jobs – in the current climate, we also need to think creatively about other ways we can win improvements in our members’ working lives, or even their lives outside work,” he said.

Despite this concession, Mr Prentis said it was not right for public sector workers to pay the price for the recession.

“It is not right to make those who work in the public services, and those who rely on them, pay for a crisis that was not of their making,” he said.

“It will undermine the economic recovery, as well as setting back the progress we have been making towards building world class services, tackling child poverty, extending opportunities, and making society fairer,” he added.

  • 8 Comments

Readers' comments (8)

  • Yet again the Govt want to hit the Nursing Profession hard as they know we will not strike but in this day and age I am not so sure about striking as the Nurse of Today will not put up with being a piece of dirt on the Govt's shoe.
    They have enforced target after target on us which we strive to achieve an the thanks a pay freeze.
    Watch out whoever gains power in the next election.

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  • Please succeed in your negotiations. We are exhausted with our workloads. Let's talk about money another time.

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  • How about these negotiators turn up for something other than the free sandwiches and tea. these people couldn't negotiate themselves through a door. they are an embarassment to our profession and are wholly and totally ineffective as the voice of any profession.

    they couldn't get better pay so what makes them dream of achieving better conditions when pay rises are easier to do?

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  • So the unions are negotiating over better working conditions.... does this mean that there will now be enough staff to cover UNPAID meal breaks, something which is a rare luxury on my ward!

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  • Nurses are easy targets in the nhs being the largest group of staff! Why not cut medical and allied professionals pay for a change, nurses are already over worked with more being 'delegated' for professional development all the time.
    Tired and disallusioned to the point of what's the point!!

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  • Could l suggest that jjjez applies for a full time post with a trade Union, he would get my vote.

    However a little bit of advice jjjez, negotiators need the support of its membership to be able to function as affectively as they can. As an ex full time officer, l also have some concerns about the effectiveness of trade unions, but in my experience, the faults often include lack of support or interest by the members.

    In the 70's and 80's the RCN mounted several campaigns in support of better pay and condition for nurses, some of these were successful mainly because they were well planned and had the major support of its members who were prepared to get out on the streets and put their case to the general public.

    They came about because the membership demanded it, and the organisation responded.

    However in the last two decades, these appear to have become a thing of the past. I also have to say that the political skills required these days to mount such campaigns may not be so available. It could also be argued that the membership are happy with what has been achived for them by the effective action that was previously taken.

    This does not mean that we can or should become complacent. Dave Prentis views do make some sense, particularly when you take into account some of the benefits, that we as members of trade unions, have allowed to disappear over the years.

    Support the unions, make them work for you, and lets get jjjez around the national negotiating table. At least we will save on tea and sandwiches. (thats is an improvement on the tea & biscuits l used to have during long meetings and hearings that l attended as part of my working life).

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  • i appreciate the point but it's up to them to do their job properly. if they aren't already aware of the apathy then it is p to them to pull their head out of the sand/rectum and do something about it. The 70's and 80's were about oppurtunism from the union rather than that they'd recognized a cerrtain profesion zeitgeist in action and those radicals were quickly exited from influence anyways once certain groups felt that the reputation/stereotype of the profession was under threat.

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  • sorry just to continue, thanks i am thinking about trade union stuff recently. but i'm just as likely to see as tepid a climate there as i do in my job now.

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