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Control of nurses’ pay handed to employers

  • 39 Comments

NHS organisations will be handed control over nurses’ pay under ambitious plans to reform the NHS announced by health secretary Andrew Lansley yesterday.

The government white paper Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS says that pay decisions should be “led by healthcare employers rather than imposed by the government”.

It says that in future all individual employers will have the right to determine pay for their own staff, as is the case for foundation trusts.

Under the new plans, employers will also be responsible for leading negotiations on new employment contracts and will take the lead in providing advice on staffing and cost pressures.

The white paper also outlines plans to give employers “greater autonomy and accountability” for planning and developing the workforce, and “greater professional ownership of the quality of education and training”.

  • 39 Comments

Readers' comments (39)

  • Don't want to be a knee jerk carpist, but I see a) wages and benefits dropping b) educational investments and standards dropping. I hardly a great fan of the last government, but at least they invested in nurse education and made some headway in the appalling career development that existed before. Unless the RCN and Unison come out fighting we going to get screwed. Actually forget the last sentence, we've got to come out fighting. Are you going to be happy that your colleagues are on different - read poorer - contracted rates than you are? It will mean less movement in an already almost stagnant workforce where people are afraid of leaving a job, because the promotion will mean loosing benefits such as pensions.

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  • Hmm, I'm not sure about this. I do not see it totally in a bad light as Anonymous | 13-Jul-2010 11:15 am, as I believe this CAN have some positive effects if used correctly. However, the last poster is completely right that we will have to come out fighting and ensure that these positive measures get put into place, and they are fair to ALL Nurses.

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  • I think it is about time that the NHS realised that one reason nurses join agencies is because the pay is better. If the NHS payed bank staff a decent rate they would do less agency work and have a far greater incentive to stay with the NHS banks. This would then save money in the long run as the NHS would not have to pay so much in agency fees.

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  • About time we form nursing consortia so we too can be in the front line of negotiation and incontrol of our own destinies.

    Stuff sitting round waiting for things let's get involved NOW.

    Anyone interested?

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  • Perhaps a longer term idea is that all staff for the NHS worker is to register with and are employed via agencies and not direct as at present. Just thought!

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  • Martin Gray

    Count me in Sharon. Although I'm retiring it I am still in favour of nurses having their own union, not the current choices of Unison and the RCN. I will also have time to spare to get more involved than many others.

    Not sure what this will mean in terms of pay rates but can see a lot of discrepancies across the board.

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  • Hell yeah count me in! Viva la revolution!

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  • Paediatric Nurses
    £0 - 1 per hour London; City of London
    Was this advert for real ????

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  • Ummmm
    There is NO WAY I would want individual pay agreements from different trusts. Too many problems, and you already havent got back up as in a union.
    End of!
    Oh BTW Nice to see more positive input as to forming that much needed nurses union is maybe on its way....:)
    You go guys!!

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  • I agree absolutely with the first poster, and coming from a very isolated area with very poor pay locally and a captive audience (very low turnover rates) I can already see what will happen. the people (not necessarily those with the relevant qualifications) who know people will get the better pay: this has already happened so no change there

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  • Prediction - pay will freeze or not rise so as anyone in the nursing profession can afford to live. This will then affect recruitment and retention. Good nurses will leave for pastures offering a better salary. In about 10 years they'll be offering all kinds of pay rises and incentives to keep what little they have of experienced nurses and encourage new blood. Hospitals that are under achieving will not be able to offer the pay incentives to recruit experienced nurses and will eventually be taken over by Bupa et al! This sounds very bleak but it also has a de ja vu about it. I agree whole heartedly with Sharon Bates. It’s about time that nurses took a stand for themselves and had a union run by nurses for nurses (a proper one). Sharon I think you could be just the voice us nurses are looking for.

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  • Agree with Anne, many British Nurses are already leaving for Oz and Canada because the pay and conditions are so lamentable here. If we don't act soon, things will get worse.

    However, if we do stick together and find our voice, then I believe we can actually turn this to our advantage! If the new and improved NHS wants Nurses, it can bloody well pay us what we deserve and give us good working conditions! That is what we should be demanding! And we will get it, as long as we stick together and find our voice!

    And Martin sorry about the late reply on another post but yeah count me in for a new union run by and for Nurses too!

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  • Martin

    Me too, Heres a new nurses Union. I was a damn good steward for NUPE in the old days even had our local chief nurse as a member.

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  • Nurse will have to stick together what ever Union they belong to.

    Prepare to fight to defend pay and conditions. If they manage to sack thousands of nurses then the natural impact will be to depress wages.

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  • Compensation for a work done and working condition is always the problem for NHS nurses and having a union for nurses that fight for nurses right is an excellent idea how i wish i could join you guys but im abroad,when i was in UK i was complaining how hard my job in AE and im doing alot of none nursing job and my salary is less but when it comes to benefits i think nurses in UK are very lucky compared to nurses in the US,in the US they dont have maternity leave with pay,in the US vacation leave is computed according to the number of hours work unlike in UK its fixed every month,every public holiday is compensated if you are working by having your off in a different day,you dont have to pay extra for your health insurance and its free in the NHS,sick leave is in UK is paid in the US its not its deducted in your lvacation leave but working in the US gives the nurse the freedom to manage her patient,salary is good,working condition is beter than UK because nurses only do the nursing job and nurses contribution is valued and nursing assistan knows there boundaries and job description well,they always report to nurses and high tech machines that make nurses job better.Nurses in the US can demand pay rise if they think they have more experience and qualification,assessment tools and paperworks are appropriate to the patient and time savers,we have clerks who enters laboratory workout ordered by the docotrs in the computer.If UK nurses are compensated well and working conditions are good plus with the very good benefits that they have now then they must be the luckiest nurses in the world how i wish.

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  • Martin Gray

    Well there seems to be people willing to try and set up a union; get in touch and let's see what we can do. Someone has to make an effort otherwise there is no progress, only procrastination.

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  • Sharon Bates | 13-Jul-2010 4:34 pm

    About time we form nursing consortia so we too can be in the front line of negotiation and incontrol of our own destinies.

    Stuff sitting round waiting for things let's get involved NOW.

    Anyone interested?

    I have mentioned this in a few posts now!!

    Facebook and Myspace are a good starting place to get nurses together or use the nuber 10 petitions website (http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/), or maybe the NT will help!!

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  • Hi Martin, totally up for doing my bit, just need to figure out how! How do I get in touch?

    Anonymous | 16-Jul-2010 9:25 am, I have to say I am normally vehemently against facebook, but I think in this instance it may be a really good idea to set one up as a union page (not a personal one) to get more people involved? That's a damn fine idea!

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  • Let's march on London and demand safe staffing ratios and pay for all the hours we work. Restaurant workers, flight attendents and everyone else in the entire freaking country already have that. And they sure as hell don't have all the life and death responsibility.

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  • Anna....Above post
    I have suggested a few times organising a rally in a major city...Such a great way to get the public AND media involved at the same time....much needed publicity at all levels. Every hospital should participate and then you can plough forward with your new union! Facebook would be the place to start correspondance.
    An impending major nurses rally will also give NHS and Government major panic attacks as they see the oncoming slaughter....Oh just give them a box of Alprazolam each!....:)

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