Government prevents Pay Review Body from recommending a pay rise for 2015-16 in another restricted remit which also heralds further changes to unsocial hours pay for next year.
Below is a copy of the letter sent last week to the Pay Review Body (PRB) by Dr Dan Poulter, Minister of State, concerning the remit for pay for NHS Staff in England.
In this the Government confirms Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt¡¦s intention to restrict pay in the NHS in England at least until March 2016, to 0% for 60% of the workforce and 1% non-consolidated only for those at the top of the pay band. This means that those staff who have been at the top of their pay scale for some time will receive exactly the same rates of pay in 2016 as in 2013.
Key points about the PRB remit for NHS Staff in England:
Instruction not to make recommendations about:
- pay rates;
- recruitment, retention and motivation issues;
- regional and local variations in labour markets.
- A request to make observations on the barriers and enablers within the AfC pay system, for delivering health care services every day of the week.
- Instructions to produce a report on the above by 15 July 2015.
As you will see from the letter, the Minister is requesting that the PRB
make observations about how 7 day services can be provided without
increasing the overall spend, prompting fears from UNISON that this will
start a process of further cuts being proposed to your unsocial hours
The remit drives a further wedge into UK-wide pay, instructing the PRB to
apply this remit only to staff in England and leaving the devolved
administrations to make their own representations to the Review Body.
UNISON’s Health Service Group has highlighted the following concerns:
- This confirms that members can expect the pay freeze to continue
past the 2015 General Elections.
- The wording of the request for the PRB to look at out of hours work
raises the real prospect of changes to your unsocial hours payments
being sought next year.
- This approach underlines the Governments continued failure to
address long-term funding issues for the NHS and prompts fears that
future service improvements/changes will be paid for with further
cuts to pay.
UNISON believes that the public deserves a quality NHS with staff that are
well motivated and fairly rewarded for the vital work they do. This
confirmation that the pay freeze will continue next year makes it even
more important that members use their vote and vote YES in the current
ballot to take action for Fair Pay in the NHS.
Healthcare staff need to speak up for themselves so we can speak up for
patients and the NHS.