NHS Pay Offer: UNISON Health and branch outline their positions

NHS Pay Offer: UNISON Health and branch outline their positions
Over the last several years, in the face of the government’s austerity programme UNISON members have been fighting hard through the Pay Up Now! campaign to make the government act positively across public service pay.
 
When the annual NHS pay talks opened last September, UNISON led the health unions in submitting a claim that would move Chancellor Philip Hammond away from the government’s 1% pay policy.
 
That pressure paid off when, in the November budget, Mr Hammond announced there would be new money available for NHS pay – if agreement could be reached with employers and the unions.
 
Since then UNISON has spearheaded the complex negotiations. The union wanted the best deal possible for its members, which meant not just an immediate increase in pay but a long-term refresh of the Agenda for Change pay structure. The union sought to ensure that members would be better off at every stage of the reform.
 
Subsequently in March UNISON alongside the other health unions unveiled a proposal for a far-reaching modernisation of the NHS pay structure in England over the next three years, which they believe would result in significant pay rises for every single member of staff and could turn the tide of the NHS staffing crisis. 
 
UNISON head of health Sara Gorton, who was the lead pay negotiator for the NHS unions, said today: “Seven years of pay freezes and wage increases well below the cost of living meant significant financial hardship for health staff and their families.
 
“It’s also created headaches for employers as they’ve struggled to attract new recruits and hold onto experienced staff.
 
“The agreement would mean an end at last to the government’s self-defeating and unfair 1% pay cap. It won’t solve every problem in the NHS, but it would go a long way towards making dedicated health staff feel more valued, lift flagging morale and help turn the tide on employers’ staffing problems.”
 
A majority of the NHS trade unions including UNISON are recommending this agreement to their members, as they believe it is the best deal available through negotiation.
 
As a branch however we recently passed a motion rejecting any deal that asks us to accept any settlement that falls short of the original pay claim from September and certainly not any settlement that seeks to degrade terms and conditions. The branch committee believes that this pay offer falls short.
 
This website will put forward information from all parties for you to make a decision when the consultation opens in mid-April. On the information we currently have the branch position is to recommend to our members rejection of the offer. UNISON Health will be recommending to accept. 
 
Please keep up to date on this issue across all our social media, as updates and comments will start to come thick and fast in the lead up and during this important consultation.