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Union calls for 'inflation busting' pay rise after 2012-13

  • 15 Comments

Unison has called for an “inflation busting pay uplift” for nurses after the current two-year pay freeze comes to an end.

Submissions to the NHS Pay Review Body also warn pressure on wages will impact on recruitment and retention of staff – although officials insist the picture “remains very healthy”.

The NHS Pay Review Body is expected to make recommendations on the pay deal for health service staff in February.

As expected, the Department of Health has proposed freezing salaries above £21,000 in 2012-13, and awarding a flat pay rise of £250 to all earning less than that amount. The measure would contribute to the second year of a two-year pay freeze across the public sector.

Sara Gorton, Unison’s national officer for health, told Nursing Times that staff wanted their contribution to the financial challenges faced by the NHS to be acknowledged.

She added that although it would be “unexpected” for the review to recommend breaking the freeze in 2012-13, “we make a strong case for an inflation busting pay uplift once the pay freeze is over.”

According to a survey submitted by Unison as part of their evidence to the review 47% of nursing and midwifery staff reported a drop in the quality of patient care on offer.

In the NHS as a whole, 65% saw a decline in the number of staff at their workplace, while 59% were dealing with more patients.

The Department of Health’s submission to the review, published on 3 October, says “recruitment difficulties are not expected” as “demand growth for Agenda for Change staff will fall over the next year.” It adds: “Indeed, the recruitment and retention of Agenda for Change staff is not seen as problematic in the short-term even if earning growth picks up in the private sector.”

However, staff representatives disagree. The Royal College of Nursing submission said the freeze would impact on recruitment and retention and “would weaken comparability with similar jobs outside the NHS”.

Evidence submitted by staff side said continued erosion of pay was “unsustainable”.

  • 15 Comments

Readers' comments (15)

  • Hooyah! Now THIS is what i call good news! FINALLY!

    I would go further though, unlike UNISONs Sara Gorton, I would be calling for the immediate scrapping of pay freezes, we have been suffering this for far too long. I would also be demanding at the VERY least an inflation busting pay rise, I would be demanding that the MINIMUM a band 5 staff Nurse will earn is £25,000, with comparative pay rises as the bands increase.

    I think anything said by officials at the DoH in response can be safely filed away as bulls*it. 'Recruitment and retention difficulties not expected', oh please!!!! They just want to freeze our pay again. We may as well work on a minimum wage job if this continues with no stress, no hassle, much better working conditions and perceivably more workplace rights too!

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  • Call me epathetic (and although I'd rather we didin't have the freeze!) If we were successfull in getting an inflation busting pay uplift, then I would put up with the current freeze. . . But for no longer than already put on us!

    I've just joined UNISON and I am hoping. . nay praying!.. that UNISON keep to this and confirm that I did the right thing in leaving the RCN for them. Talking of which, if the RCN really think that the freeze would impact on recruitment and retention and “would weaken comparability with similar jobs outside the NHS”, then why the f*** are they not doing anything about it?!

    Anonymous | 7-Oct-2011 2:58 pm - wtf?what are you doing on this site if you don't care? You are not being constructive to the future of nursing by personally attacking someone, especially when that someone feels so passionately about the future of our career. Our issue of pay is a serious matter!

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  • @ Anonymous | 7-Oct-2011 4:48 pm

    re: Anonymous | 7-Oct-2011 2:58 pm

    i think this person has been posting the same kind of rubbish in other parts of the site. they seem to be targeting regular commentators for abuse. eg
    "Carter defends his position: relatives should not be 'forced to plug gaps in nursing care'" and "Nurses 'threatened' over strike plans"




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  • Anonymous | 7-Oct-2011 9:42 pm

    re: Anonymous | 7-Oct-2011 2:58 pm

    I'l ignore the weirdo then lol.

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  • Thanks Anonymous | 7-Oct-2011 4:48 pm but don't worry, it's probably a DoH official or a trust exec or manager s*it scared about losing their pointless overpaid jobs when we go out on strike and shut the NHS down, showing them up as the useless ineffectual wasters they are! WE are the profession with the true power, lets use it!

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 7-Oct-2011 4:48 pm

    You did the right thing, don't give it a second thought. The RCN haven't even come up with any ideas to improve the nurses lot, it is other unions rallying our cause who have no specific allegiance to nurses as supposedly the RCN have. Sleep well in the sound knowledge that you took a stand when it was needed. Well done you!

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  • tinkerbell

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  • Huh, we are more likely to get another year with pay frozen than get any sort of pay rise as we are considered unimportant and easy to push around.

    I know this is negative, but I really don't think we'll get any pay rise, let alone an inflation busting one.

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  • Err, cheers Tink, I think! ;D haha

    Anonymous | 8-Oct-2011 2:48 pm I agree with you that is how we are seen, let's see if the powers that be still have that view after we strike eh?

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