A motion passed at UNISON’s Health Care Service Group conference has called on all NHS organisations to honour preceptorship payments for newly qualified nurses outlined in the Agenda for Change contract
Conference heard that some trusts have attempted to opt out of paying the accelerated pay rise during the first year of a nurse’s career after gaining registration.
James Anthony, of UNISON’s Young Members Group, said the payments were in recognition of the ‘steep learning curve’ during the first year of a registered nurse’s career.
He said: ‘Some hospitals have not been delivering this.
‘This payment recognises the steep learning curve during the first year of the profession. Agenda for Change is a national agreement, we must ensure that it is honoured across the country.
‘Some groups have received the payments and some have not. We would like to see support and guidance from NHS Employers.’
Kate Ahrens, on behalf of the Service Group Executive, also supported the motion. ‘We should have it – but I have seen some people say “we don’t know about that”.
‘We have seen some people say they don’t offer preceptorship training programmes, as a reason for not paying this.
‘It is a travesty that some employers should punish people with lack of training then punish them through lack of pay.’
UNISON will now seek NHS staff council guidance on interpretation of preceptorship and accelerated progression.
It will use the staff council to ensure NHS employers are clear that progression should be applied as described in the Agenda for Change handbook and provide advice to branches on the matter, including backdating of payments.
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