NHS pay in England

[Saturday]

Being very busy and having writer’s block mean I can but pinch a story from The News Line, the internet daily of the WRP.

This story however is significant to people interested in ensuring: a) that working people do not bear the brunt of inflation through so-called wage restraint, and b) that England has national political representation and public services.

NHS PAY OFFER – Looks to divide and rule

‘I will be recommending members reject the new pay offer,’ UNISON Oxfordshire health branch chairman Mark Ladbrooke told News Line yesterday.

He was commenting on the just-announced upcoming national ballot of UNISON’s 450,000 health worker members on a new NHS pay increase offer of 2.5 per cent, plus minor fringe benefits for some, still staged in England.

Ladbrooke added: ‘It is an extremely disappointing offer which is little different from the offer that was soundly rejected in the consultative ballot.

‘It is quite complex and the £400 headline figure won’t be paid to one single health worker.

‘Because of the staging, the value of the £400 will be greatly reduced.’

All Trades Unions Alliance Secretary Dave Wiltshire commented: ‘This is just the government, helped by the union leaders, trying to divide and rule over the public sector.

‘There have been no real concessions on wages. The offer is divisive and still equals a wage cut with inflation at 4.8 per cent.

‘They are trying to prevent the formation of a public sector alliance, that will bring out the whole of the public sector to smash the wage cutting and the jobs axing and defeat the Brown government.’

Birmingham Hospitals UNISON branch secretary Chris Rickards said: ‘I still have to study the details but it doesn’t look very good.’

UNISON yesterday said the offer is ‘the best that can be achieved’.

A UNISON statement said: ‘The new package gives extra help to the low paid and, for staff in England where the pay offer remains staged, additional money targeted at training plus a £38 contribution towards professional fees.

‘There is also a commitment to review future pay and conditions.’

Mike Jackson, UNISON lead negotiator, said: ‘At last we have an improved offer to put to members.

‘The package on offer is a complex one and will mean different things to different NHS staff depending on where they live.’

He admitted: ‘This is still a below inflation deal for most.’

He added: ‘But it is the best offer we are likely to achieve through negotiations and we will be balloting our members over whether they wish to accept it.’

An individual postal ballot of all NHS UNISON members will be held between 20th August and the 13th September 2007 on whether to accept the offer.

UNISON said details of the offer include:

l From 1st November, extra money for the lowest paid. £400 flat rate increase for those on Bands 1 and 2. Those on Bands 3 and 4 will receive an additional £38 as well as the 2.5 per cent. This will be payable in all four UK countries.

l In England only, there will be additional money for staff training targeted directly on those non-clinical staff who often lose out when training budgets are cut.

l In England only, there will be £38 paid to staff on Bands 5, 6, 7 and 8(a) who are required to register to practice. This money is a contribution to their professional fees.

‘In addition to the improved pay offer for this year, unions, employers and governments have agreed to enter into talks prior to the next pay round, to consider improvements to the Agenda for Change pay structure and its terms and conditions.’

Jackson said: ‘This will provide an opportunity for UNISON to pursue long-standing policies such as a reduction in the working week and the abolition of Band 1.’

Dr Peter Carter, General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said: ‘Our ballot of RCN members in England on whether they wish to move forward with a formal vote on industrial action over pay closes on Monday.

‘This offer does not give nurses all that we asked for but it could well be the means to resolve the current dispute and allow us to make progress on a range of workplace and professional issues.

‘The offer will now be considered by the RCN’s ruling council alongside the results of our industrial action ballot.’

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Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , , , . 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “NHS pay in England”

  1. tally Says:

    there has been letters going to the press for the last 3 years on the treatment of England by this government. Unison North East gave union members money to john prescott’s YES campaign for a regional assembly and now mcbroon wants to regionalize wages. Why do the unions continue to back this most anti English of governments?

  2. charliemarks Says:

    Force of habit? The leadership of the pro-Labour unions might have to listen to their members. I can’t see Brown getting any more cash from the unions, myself…

  3. Patrick Harris Says:

    Years ago Peter Sellars starred in a film titled “I’m Alright Jack”, it was supposed to be a statement (Comic but pointed) about the workings of Trades Unions. Nothing has changed, as long as things are hunky dory in your small neck of the woods bugger the rest of the country, the chickens are coming home to roost, from now on we either help each other to halt the downward spiral of England and all she stands for or go F yourself I’m closing up shop and looking after number one. Try the English Democrats Party website, they seem to be the only ones who care.

  4. charliemarks Says:

    There was an odd situation throughout the 20th century where trade unions formally committed to socialism — and this is not just in the UK, but other imperial powers — did not act strongly upon this committment. This is usually attributed to the “aristocracy of labour” — where a section of the working class, usually unionised, benefits indirectly from imperialism.

    Unionism in the UK is not homogeneous. I saw the Sellers film as a bit of anti-unionist agit-prop myself, but you appear to have read it as condemnation of the lack of solidarity within the unions. This is true enough, for example there should have been united action in support of the miners, and there should be unity to defend the public services…

    Watch this space, as they say.

  5. Fred Forsythe (Not the) Says:

    What else can we expect when England is run by a foreigner who signed this public oath to put his own people first.
    “We, gathered as the Scottish Constitutional Convention, do hereby acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and do hereby declare and pledge that in all our actions and deliberations their interests shall be paramount.”

    I agree with Pat we need An English National Party and the English Democrats seem the best available. I’m sending a donation.

  6. charliemarks Says:

    I think “his own people” are rich people irrespective of nationality, myself…

    All of the parties active in the UK will have to accept the reality of the breakup of the UK. For the nationalist parties, this isn’t a problem.

    For the mainstream parties, no chance of this happening — the ruling class doesn’t want to further entrench the feeling that there are separate national politics in each of the nations of the UK.

  7. moira sinclair Says:

    I’m Scots, wish that England could achieve it’s own “local” government. Know nothing about the English Democratic party. If it promotes a proud sense of national identity, combined with the ability to grow as a multi-cultural society which fights to eliminate rascism and religious bigotry, could be the route to your own locall government. On the subject of NHS pay, the unions are now belatedly {nationally] trying to mend the injustice that is Agenda for Change. Too little too late. Both RCN and Unison were seduced into colluding with the process by being wooed with cheap offerings that made them roll over and submit. I think the implications of their submission is now becoming evident to them in the responses of their members. Time to stand up for justice, instead of passively accepting yet another cynical ploy to minimise the value of those who do, to maintain the traditional hierarchies that have financially crippled the NHS for years.

  8. charliemarks Says:

    Agree with you completely, Moira. Thanks for posting.

    I should point out that whilst I can see some good in the English Democrats, I am not associated with the party. Apparently they have cordial relations with the SNP, which is a positive sign.


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