As UNISON members and branches prepare to take strike action on January 29th and February 25th the Department of Health and NHS Employers have given evidence to the Pay review Body.
In their evidence the Government say :
- that Incremental progression is ‘unfair and unaffordable’.
- that the current Unsocial Hours payments do ‘not reflect modern employment practice’.
They suggest options for changing unsocial hours premia which include:
- changing the times defined as ‘unsocial’
- paying Saturdays at plain time
- lowering the rates for Sunday and Bank Holidays
The evidence concludes that ‘the premium rates on offer plus the times of the day and week in which they are applied, are out of date and a potential barrier to affordable seven day services’.
NHS Employers have submitted cost modelling to support these options.
What does this mean to UNISON members this year ? That not only does this Government want most staff to continue with this unfair pay freeze but that they want to stop or reduce incremental pay progression as well as severely cutting rates for Unsocial hours.
UNISON Health National Secretary Christina McAnea says :
“ Staff should look at what the Government and NHS Employers have in mind for NHS staff in this evidence to the Pay Review Body this year. Attacking unsocial hours pay and incremental pay progression would not just mean staff suffering a pay freeze but would mean a huge cut in pay for most staff in the NHS.
“ It is really important our members demonstrate what they feel about this by supporting the strike action in January and February. We are in a fight now not just to get a pay rise but to stop horrific pay cuts being inflicted “