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NHS mileage row could spark protests

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UNIONS have warned of a large-scale protest unless NHS trusts agree to improving the NHS mileage allowance scheme.

Mike Jackson, Unison’s senior national officer, said there would be an ‘explosion of anger’ because nurses and NHS staff are losing money due to the high cost of fuel.

Unions say the current allowance does not cover the soaring cost of fuel because it has not been significantly improved since the year 2000, although there was a small interim increase at the beginning of the year.

A crunch meeting of union representatives and employers this week will decide whether the allowance can be increased.

A review of the allowance should have been completed in time for the meeting this week – but looks unlikely to be concluded in time.

Unions have already asked for an immediate 5p per mile increase on all vehicles.

Mr Jackson said trusts will face dire consequences unless the allowance is improved.

He said: ‘In our view this review is not going to be completed on time. I think there will be all sorts of protests around this.
‘Staff are not going to put up with a situation where they are subsidising their employer by using their cars to work.

‘We have told staff to hold off until this meeting – but there will be an explosion of anger if we don’t settle this matter.’

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Readers' comments (2)

  • As a group of community nurses and support workers, we have just found out that most of our cars being over 1500cc do not qualify for the mileage increase from 1st July 2008 (which should have been given to staff from January2008). In view of this we are considering a group protest by all of us applying for a 'crown' car from our PCT. If rolled out across england I imagine this will have a significant impact on the finances of each PCT I doubt they could afford to provide a car for us all. Surely it would work out far cheaper to increase the current allowances and keep staff morale from dropping further. Though I doubt they will pay heed to the discontent and financial burden imposed on us all. A full tank of petrol now costs me £15 more than it did in March this year this equates to £30 per month extra in petrol alone. Most of my miles are business related as are those of my colleagues so any increase in mileage allowance may not off set the increases in car tax, fuel costs, services, tyres etc. I use my car for the weekly shop and to drive to work, as we have 2 cars I could easily lose my car and replace it with a 'crown' car for work, which if things don't improve I will be applying for.

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  • i HAVE WORKED IN THE COMMUNITY FOR 20 YEARS NOW. THE COST OF PETROL HAS RISEN NUMEROUS TIMES BUT THE MILAGE ALLOWANCE HAS NOT. THIS NEEDS TO BE BOUGHT INLINE WITH THE RISING COST OF PETROL. THE ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE FOR TRUSTS/PCT TO SUPPLY POOL CARS FOR US TO USE.

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