Voting on the NHS Pay Deal will be one of the most important decisons you make. Here at Branch we hope we can help to make sure your vote is well infomed.
INTRODUCTION AND UNISON'S NATIONAL POSITION
Following pay talks led by UNISON, the NHS unions have secured £4.2 billion of new money to fund a proposed three year pay deal for NHS staff. National UNISON beleives this is a better deal than wiull be achieved through the Pay Review Body (PRB). That is why national UNISON re recommending that you vote to accept it.
The proposals would end the 1% cap by giving all staff meaningful pay increases. And it would also deliver the essential changes the unions have asked for to make the NHS pay structure fairer and better. To find out more you can go to https://www.unison.org.uk/nhs-pay-calculator/ and use our pay calculator to see how your pay would increase.
The pay deal was also debated at this months national UNISON health conference, where the majority of delegates voted in support of of the deal. UNISON branch voted against.
Further details on UNISON'S national position can be found in the Pay Leaflet attachment at the end of this article.
HOW TO VOTE
Make sure you have your say cast your vote via https://www.unison.org.uk/our-campaigns/pay-up-now-for-the-nhs/. All you need is your UNISON membership number and date of birth. If you don't have your number please conatct branch who will be able to help. The ballot closes at 5pm on Tuesday 5th June 2018.
NOT IN UNISON OR KNOW ANYONE WHO ISN'T? WANT TO VOTE ON THE PAY DEAL?
If you are a colleague joins by 25th May you can have your say on pay. Join at www.joinunison.org or call us on 0800 171 2193
If you want to hear about the pay deal in person there are local briefings in the Trust area. Currently UNISON region have two organised:
Thursday 3rd May 12.15-12.45 & 13.15-13.45, Lecture Hall, Audrey Emerton Building, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton BN2 0AE
Friday 4th May 12.15-12.45 & 13.15-13.45, Lecture Theatre 2A, Princess Royal Hospital, Lewes Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 4EX
Branch meanwhile has two orgaised for branch members and SPFT staff only on:
Friday 18th May 12.30-13.00, 1st Floor Meeting Room, Mill View Hospital, Hove
Monday 21st May 17.00-17.30, Seminar Room 1, Sussex Education Centre, Mill View, Hove
Branch has taken a different position to national UNISON and is advising members to reject the NHS Pay Offer. Whilst we recognise the hard work the negotiators have put in and the achievements that they had made in terms of reducing low pay in the NHS we feel that ultimately it is not the right onbe for the majority of our members. At our March Branch Committee meeting we passed the following motion.
Motion in defence of UNISON Pay Claim
The original 2018-19 pay claim Unison submitted was for 3.9% and an across the board payment of £800 with no degradation of terms & conditionS.
Whilst welcome, this claim falls substantially short of reinstating NHS worker’s pay levels that, since the financial crisis of 2008, have fallen in real terms by 14-16%
The retail price measure of inflation runs at 4%. Anything less than this represents a pay cut, and any loss of annual leave would in no way compensate for any below 4% pay rise
In this context, we should not be asked to accept any settlement that falls short of the original pay claim and certainly not any settlement that seeks to degrade terms and conditions
This branch recognises:
The recent successful sustained industrial action by the Communication Workers Union which has resulted in a “ground breaking” agreement with Royal Mail resulting in a 12% pay rise over three years, with no change to finish times.
The current industrial action being taken by the University and College Union to defend their pension scheme that has resulted in forcing universities management on to the back foot.
These actions have demonstrated to the rest of the trade union movement that a sustained strike is what delivers results. More importantly, they have shown that this kind of action is still possible in 21st century Britain
This branch resolves to:
Campaign for a settlement that reflects, at the very least, the original claim of 3.9% with no degradation of terms and conditions.
Mandate delegates to 2018 health conference to argue for the above.
A MESSAGE FROM BRANCH CHAIR
Our Branch Chair Stephen McLean, long time UNISON activist and member of Sussex Defend the NHS writes in a personal capacity on the proposed deal:
"As activists in UNISON, we are enormously disappointed with the government's miserly pay offer. Whilst a 6.5% pay rise seems initially attractive, it represents a 2% rise per year. Whilst that’s a 100% increase on previous 1% settlements, inflation currently runs at 4% meaning that this represents a 2% pay cut per year for the next three years. What’s more, the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts that inflation will increase by 9.6 percent during the next three years. So, this deal certainly does nothing to claw back the 14 percent pay cut that health workers have suffered since the Tories came to office in 2010.
There has also been much made of a potential 29% increase for workers on lower bands. However, whilst there are some increases for lower band staff, these are tied to pernicious attacks on terms & conditions. Currently, staff on Agenda For Change terms and conditions pass through a series of annual incremental pay rises until they reach the top of their grade. These increments reflect the increasing levels of skills and knowledge that increasing length of service represents. Under the proposals that will be put to NHS unions, these incremental progressions will be tied to a process linked to ‘appraisals’ before allowing staff to progress to the next pay point, i.e. the introduction of performance related pay that would be the beginning of the erosion of nationally negotiated terms & conditions. We currently have no information regarding the form these incremental appraisals will take and so are being asked to vote for a deal where all the conditions have not been made transparent. In an NHS where staff are expected to work on wards and services operating way beyond capacity and that are dangerously understaffed, it is difficult to see how ‘performance’ could be improved.
The actions of members of the universities union, the UCU, show that taking on the bosses through mass, sustained action produces results. They have forced university management onto the back foot and emboldened their membership to reject a similarly rotten deal to the one to go before health workers. It is this fighting spirit that health union members need to import into the NHS to beat back this shoddy deal. Our branch recently passed a resolution to campaign against any offer that left our members worse off than before any pay increase. Together we have the strength to achieve so much better than what is currently being offered. We encourage members to reject the deal and be prepared to ballot for industrial action."
FINALLY: WHATEVER YOUR VIEW: DONT FORGET TO VOTE!
If you do not recieve any emails and newsletters etc. from national UNISON the likelihood is that your contact details are not up to date. You can update these via https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison