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Pay freeze inflicting ‘long term damage’ on NHS


There could be “massive” industrial unrest if health workers are not given a decent pay rise after being hit hard by the government’s wage freeze, ministers have been warned.

Unions told the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) that the two-year pay freeze, followed by planned increases of 1% a year from next April, was inflicting “long-term damage” to the NHS.

In evidence to the review body, unions called for support for the Agenda for Change national pay system if industrial unrest is to be avoided across the UK in the coming year.

Unison, which represents 450,000 NHS staff including nurses, midwives, cooks and cleaners, said the pay of health workers will have fallen by up to 12% in real terms by next April because of the government’s policies.

Christina McAnea, the union’s head of health, said: “NHS staff are being hit from all sides. There are massive cuts to services and to jobs despite the fact that demands on the NHS are growing year by year.

“Inflation is taking a heavy toll on staff and their families who have not had a pay rise for two years while inflation is taking chunks out of their pay.

“We are urging the PRB to recognise the long-term damage that the coalition’s pay policy is inflicting on the NHS.

“To add insult to injury, Trusts, like those who are members of the South West pay cartel, are planning to make cuts to the national terms and conditions of their staff to help them make the massive savings the government is demanding.

“We are calling on the PRB to make its strong support for Agenda for Change clear, or face the consequence that these rogue elements will threaten to stir up massive industrial unrest across the whole of the NHS.”

Unison said increased pension contributions were likely to lead to a further reduction in take-home pay of up to 6% by 2015.


Readers' comments (5)

  • A Nonny Mouse

    how can the govt 'demand cuts' when they have massively overspent on their nhs reforms. time to go dc

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  • How do they expect people to cope? Gross pay is static while the cost of food, utilities and housing is constantly rising. Like many I am at the top of my pay band so don't get increments - my net pay has reduced by about £100 a month since 2009 due to increased pension costs, introduction of hospital parking fees etc. Yet every time I go to the supermarket prices have risen! Do they think this is going to encourage people to spend money and boost the economy?!

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  • what happens when costs exceed more and more incomes. will some sort of bubble burst?

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  • Let's face it the Government are hell bent on destroying the NHS by creating such low morale in staff that experienced professionals feel no choice but to leave. The result may equate to less expensive junior staff but the human cost risking lives and subsequent compensation claims are becoming a frightening reality. Agenda for change has been and gone-our trust appear to 'forget' the aspects of the terms with the attitude of put up & shut up.

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  • the goverment just dont care.i too am at the top of my pay band[5]. i am having to work regular overtime just to make ends meet.if a genaral strike is called i will be in front waving my banner.whether a strike will make a differance remains to be seen.

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