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RCN agrees deal with BMI over unsocial hours pay

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The Royal College of Nursing has said it has secured a deal with the private provider BMI Healthcare for better unsocial hours weekend rates for clinical staff.

The company had originally said it would be making changes – without consultation – that included no unsocial hours payments at weekends and no overtime, the union said.

“It will help hardworking staff to make ends meet and BMI with recruitment and retention”

Tom Sandford

Following concerns raised by RCN members, BMI Healthcare management subsequently held a consultation process.

A new rate for weekend working, which is a third more than the standard working hours rate, has now been agreed in principle and will be taken forward to a vote.

Tom Sandford, the RCN’s director of nursing and service delivery, said: “This is a huge victory for staff.

“The new deal would not have been achieved without the hard work of RCN members who helped to raise the issue and make their concerns clear and is a positive result for all sides,” he said.

He added: “It will help hardworking staff to make ends meet, and it will help BMI Healthcare with recruitment and retention.”

“We have successfully designed a national set of employment conditions that are fair to our employees and will enable BMI to continue to develop and offer great services”

Keith Luxon

RCN members will now be balloted on the proposals, with the college recommending that members accept them.

Keith Luxon, BMI Healthcare’s human resources director, said: “Thanks to the efforts of our staff engagement forum and the feedback from our staff, supported by their representatives, we have successfully designed a national set of employment conditions that are fair to our employees and will enable BMI to continue to develop and offer great services and care.

“Throughout the consultation process we have sought to involve representatives of the three organisations we recognise and wish to thank them for their contribution and support in helping us achieve the right outcome for our employees, our business and therefore our patients,” he said.

BMI Healthcare runs 66 private hospitals in England, Scotland and Wales, and provides a number of NHS elective treatments.

The deal comes against the background of concerns about potential changes to NHS unsocial hours pay, as ministers seek to introduce what they have called a “truly seven-day service” in England.

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