Time to Talk about Pay

Preparation for new pay round gets underway

Following the miserly 1% award for all NHS staff in 2016/17, UNISON’s health conference set out a clear strategy for the union’s pay campaign in the coming year.

This includes:

campaigning for a change of pay policy to allow a fairer deal for hard-working NHS staff

making the case for a £10ph minimum, £1 an hour increase for all, and levelling up to the Scottish NHS pay scales

seeking concrete progress in talks to renew the Agenda for Change pay structure

campaigning against low pay and for the Living Wage to be applied across the UK

standing prepared to fight if any threats are made to unsocial hours payments.

Pay Review Body round 2017/18

UNISON is committed to campaigning for a pay settlement that reflects what NHS staff deserve and have been denied for so long.

The NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) included UNISON’s evidence in support of a £10 an hour minimum wage and a £1 an hour uplift for all staff in its report for 2016/17. But it did not recommend any more than 1% because of the government’s unfair public sector pay policy.

This year we will build our case further. We will ask the PRB to set out a roadmap for reaching our pay goals. And we will push the governments in the four UK countries to recognise that continuing pay restraint is not feasible when the recruitment and retention situation is worsening all the time.

To help us prepare evidence and campaign materials for the upcoming pay round, we are asking all members to fill out our NHS pay survey. It is really important for UNISON to be able to demonstrate how year-on-year pay cuts are affecting NHS staff and the services they provide. Your experiences and stories are critical to getting our message across.

So please take a few moments to fill it in –

you can find the survey here:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NHSpay2016

Agenda for Change ‘refresh’ talks

Meanwhile we have been continuing discussions with the employers about refreshing the Agenda for Change pay structure to make it fairer, simpler and easier to understand. Our key aims are as follows:

1. Living wage for all

Introducing the Living wage as the pay floor across the whole of the NHS is long overdue. And moves already taking place in Scotland to re-profile Band 1 jobs into Band 2 need to be extended out across the UK.

2. Better, quicker

Making it quicker to reach the top of the band – the rate for the job – will be fairer and better for staff morale. We want to use the current band maximums but hang a smaller number of pay points below them.

3. No more overlaps

At the moment there are considerable overlaps between the top of one pay band and the bottom of the next. This means jobs with higher job evaluation scores can be paid the same or less than lower-scoring jobs. This needs to be put right to ensure fair and equal pay for work of equal value.

Talks on these objectives are progressing slower than we would like partly as a result of the junior doctors dispute and the political uncertainty. We will update members on progress towards firm proposals as soon as possible.

Unsocial hours payments NOT up for discussion

UNISON members made it crystal clear during consultation on the 2016/17 PRB award that you won’t tolerate any moves to reduce payments for working unsocial hours. These have not formed any part of our talks and the employers are very clear that unsocial hours are not up for discussion as far as the unions are concerned.

UNISON health conference set a clear position: we will campaign for industrial action amongst members in response to any attack on unsocial hours.

Want to talk more about pay?

Talk to your local UNISON branch and find out more about how you can get involved in the union