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Voting on the 3 year pay offer to NHS staff is open

UNISON has launched a consultation of health members at the health group conference in Brighton. Members in England must decide whether to accept a three-year pay deal which comes with an extra £4.2bn worth of funding. Over a million hospital porters, 999 call handlers, healthcare assistants, nurses, midwives and other health staff across England are being offered long-overdue pay rises, in what would be a major shake-up of the NHS pay structure. And if the proposals are accepted, the extra funding for English health budgets will go through the Barnett formula into budgets in Scotland, Cymru/Wales and Northern Ireland.

“The consultation has launched and runs until 5 June – we want everyone to take part,”  said Roz Norman, the chair of UNISON’s health service group executive

UNISON, backed by our Pay Up Now campaign led the detailed pay talks with other health unions, employers and the government that  have resulted in the current proposals and the union believes it is a better deal than would be achieved through the pay review body, and is recommending that members accept it. If they do so, the proposals would end the 1% pay cap by giving all staff meaningful pay increases. They would also deliver the essential changes the unions have sought to make Agenda for Change fairer and better for all members. These include substantial increases to starting salaries, significant pay rises on promotion and faster progression through most pay bands.

The main elements of the pay proposals are:

  • a fully-funded break away from the 1% pay cap, so pay rises won’t be paid for through cuts to jobs or services;
  • meaningful increases for staff at the top of their pay band – for most this would be worth 6.5% over the three years, plus a lump sum worth 1.1% in year two;
  • major increases for staff below the top of the band by deleting pay points and making it quicker to get to the top;
  • ending poverty pay through an immediate move to a new, above living wage minimum , with further increases for the lowest-paid staff by the end of the deal;
  • improvements to starting salaries to help the NHS attract the new recruits we need to reduce the pressures on existing staff;
  • removal of band overlaps to ensure proper pay rises on promotion.

Obviously this isn’t everything everybody wanted and members should consider how it affects them personally

NHS Pay calculator

and whether they would be prepared to take the sort of industrial action required to get more than is on offer at the moment.

This is a member led union and a recommendation is no more than that. We need to hear from you. If your happy with the deal, vote for it: If you’re ready to fight for better, vote against it; but VOTE

Campaigning to improve NHS pay

What about Livewell?

We don’t know yet if Livewell will get the additional funding that Derriford and other NHS employers have been promised to pay for these rises or whether they will honour it if they don’t but Livewell staff should take part in the ballot anyway as they should at minimum receive the awards in years 2 and 3

On the 17th May I spent the  day visiting  UNISON members in my capacity as lead UNISON rep at Livewell and have been discussing both the AFC NHS pay proposal and the NJC local government pay deal. I have spoken to several hundred staff at the following sites:- LCC reception, CMHT at Avon House, Cumberland Centre, Westbourne, Windsor House before rounding up the day with a Unison members meeting at Mount Gould Hospital. My colleague Nathalie from Unison spent some time meeting with people at the Lee Mill Unit.

I plan to visit Tavistock Hospital, Syrena House and Kingsbridge Hospital on the 29th May. I will also try to visit departments at Mount Gould over the next few weeks when time allows.

Thank you to all the staff who took the time to listen to me explain the NHS Pay proposal or NJC pay deal and issues which are specific to Livewell staff. I can assure you that I have listened to your concerns and will feedback your feelings to the management team in due course.

I have been informed by our UNISON regional officer that the ballot for members to vote for or against the national pay proposal will go live next week.

Obviously if the National pay proposal is accepted and Livewell are unable to honour it for whatever reason, we will update our members with the position regarding our plans going forward at that stage.

If I have missed your area off the list, please get in touch and I will try to facilitate a visit either by my UNISON colleagues or myself.

Dave Dodd, Plymouth in UNISON Lead Rep. for Livewell