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Unions all reject 'poisonous' pay freeze for job protection offer


Unions have unilaterally rejected any proposal to freeze pay increments in an official response to NHS Employers.

The organisation had proposed to freeze increments for all staff in return for a pledge not to impose compulsory redundancies on those in Agenda for Change bands 1-6 for two years.

The formal decision to reject the offer was made following an NHS staff council meeting last week.

Unions also agreed they would not support any future proposal that involved freezing incremental pay.

Unite national officer for health Karen Reay said: “Our members are completely opposed to these poisonous proposals that employers have no power to guarantee in any case.”

Local union representatives have been told to “resist any attempt to unilaterally impose reductions in pay terms and conditions”.

Unison senior national officer Mike Jackson said: “We made it very clear to [NHS] Employers that we want trade unions to work with local trusts to reduce inefficiencies, but we don’t believe this should be done by cutting staff terms and conditions.”


Readers' comments (23)

  • Out bloody standing!!!!

    I have to admit I'm a little surprised, but very happy to be so!

    Now please, please, please, follow this conviction right through to the end! I have no doubt that the government and NHS employers will try to push this through anyway, so be prepared to fight when necessary!

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  • John Howes

    It seems beyond belief that any reasonable person could trust the word of health service managers who will carry out the governments bidding in view of the many fluctuations in government intentions, especially relating to the "evolutionary"changes to health care.

    We may be looking at this as the end of the phoney war. Only a short time ago. This issue was raised at our local staff committee and when the joint staffs declined to discuss the issue, since it was being discussed at national level. The response of one manager was to suggest that failure to discuss this issue might lead to compulsory redundancies for Band 5 nurses. One would be charitable and put this down to a fit of pique. However, given the difficult times ahead it would not be unreasonable to suppose that this kind of action is already in the mindset of many senior managers who have either refused to acknowledge the Mid Staffs experience or believe that they are incapable of putting patient care ahead of fiscal prudence.

    In my Google mail. I have set up a search which flags up on a daily basis, any reference to nursing shortages, most days, there are reports of planned redundancies or cutbacks on staffing numbering in the hundreds.

    Having been in nursing for 48 years and still currently working as a staff nurse in a large intensive care unit. I can accept that the delivery of healthcare must change.

    However, what is difficult to reconcile at the moment is the apparent lack of joined up thinking on the "transformation", a very seductive term, if ever there was, to control by GPs. There are undoubtedly many GP practices who are forward-looking innovative and produce services to the patient at the very highest level. But I am sure as are many of my colleagues in primary care that there are GP practices who will only be dragged screaming into this new era.

    I have no doubt that Mr Lansley has put a lot of thought into this exercise. Unfortunately, the devil is in the detail and to embark upon confrontation with health service workers who for the most part are not particularly well-paid over a further limitation on their incomes suggests that his strategy may well fail because those responsible for implementation have yet to recognise that the frontline, which is unlikely to receive reinforcements yet continuing to take casualties will eventually fold or desert. Semper fi!

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  • What do the RCN say - my bet is they will be weak as usual !

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  • Cheryl, the unions have rejected the proposals; this includes the RCN. Thank goodness they have. Now we need to keep fighting against the other injustices. The proposed new 'Health Bill' will dilute our pensions because of so called unfairness to the independent sector. That is in progress at the moment, but not many seem to have realised how it will badly affect us. Watch out for the sneaky moves of this coalition government. They are destroying the NHS!

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  • A big round of applause to the Unions. I am actually impressed that they have stood up to their masters and said No. Thank you UNISON, you may have my money for another month at least.

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  • Would not an incremental freeze be a breach of contract? Or does that only apply to bankers bonuses?

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  • what fabulous news , as health professionals we need to make a stand on this issue , how much more can they take away from us , we are stil paid no where near as much the police of fire brigade , and thats just starting pay let alone after years of working for the nhs, i think the government are under the impression we will not make a stand and rely on our good natures and dedication to again just sweep us under the carpet , well i for one have had enough , so come on everyone we need to come out fighting this time

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  • are you sure this includes rcn ? only quotes unite and unison

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  • The RCN have indeed spoken out against the proposed pay freeze. See link below for coverage:

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  • RCN were quicker off the mark than Unison!

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