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Author Topic: NHS staff asked to sacrifice pay to save jobs  (Read 1819 times)

roger

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NHS staff asked to sacrifice pay to save jobs
« on: December 21, 2010, 12:54:08 am »

NHS staff asked to sacrifice pay to save jobs

20 December, 2010 | By The Press Association

Unions have accused NHS bosses of threatening to lay off tens of thousands of staff unless further pay restraint is accepted.

Just over a million employees earning up to £34,189 are being asked to give up annual increments - on top of an existing two-year pay freeze - in return for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies.

The Observer reported that the number facing the axe if the deal was rejected had been set by NHS Employers - which represents primary care trusts and other providers - at 35,000.

Increments were previously excluded from the original public sector pay freeze, which affects all but those earning less than £21,000, and are worth up to a few thousand pounds a year.

Ending them for two years would, NHS Employers calculates, save £3.8 billion as part of the effort to secure £20 billion of efficiency savings in the health service by 2014/15.

Karen Reay, national officer for health at the Unite trade union, told the newspaper: “If you don’t accept these swingeing proposals, other people may lose their jobs. This is a blunt threat by employers and a negatively emotive way of trying to do business.

“Staff who are loyal to the NHS and aren’t paid too much to start with are now being asked to take another hit. It’s unfair. Many are angry that, after the two-year pay freeze, they are expected to lose their pay increments for two years as well.”

The deal was first proposed earlier this week, with doctors’ leaders saying it exposed government claims the NHS budget was being protected were false and expressing doubts about the offered job loss guarantee.

“This proposal makes clear that the NHS is in fact facing a real-terms cut in funding over the next two years and it appears NHS staff are expected personally to bridge the funding gap in some way,” Hamish Meldrum, chairman of British Medical Association Council said in a letter to members.

“[The guarantees] appear to be very limited and will be left to local agreement,” he noted.

A Department of Health spokesman was not immediately able to confirm the 35,000 figure.

“We welcome discussions between NHS Employers and staff on issues concerning pay progression and jobs during the spending review period,” he said.

“The discussions are being properly considered by NHS Employers in partnership with the NHS trade unions through the national NHS staff council. We will consider very carefully any formal proposals when they are made.”
Readers' comments (5)

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      Anonymous | 20-Dec-2010 4:39 pm

      The problem with freezing increments is that it is unfair and will generate resentment. Staff who have been around for years, and are coasting, will continue to sit happily at the top of the band.

      Newer staff who are performing well will be paid several thousand pounds per year less than than mediocre long-servers, but will be doing a better job. (Of course some long serving staff also perform extremely well, but I'm sure you take my point).

      Automatic increments with no reference to performace except at two 'gateways' are a huge problem with AfC, but just freezing people wherever they happen to be right now does not solve this problem.

      Unsuitable or offensive?
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      Anonymous | 20-Dec-2010 6:13 pm

      The NHS needs to 'get real'. A4C was a disaster which absorbed much of the additional funding the service received since 2000.

      Independent sector providers can now undercut NHS providers based on paying the same basic salaries, but no increments; lower leave entitlements; lower unsocial hour enhancements and lower pension contributions. Under AWP they, not the NHS will pick up contracts given commissioner's increased focus on the cost to them - the CCP will ensure the end of discrimination in favour of 'NHS family' provision. The announcement that providers can offer to undercut tariff opens even more doors.

      Head in the sand, knee jerk responses such as this, from unions will only hasten the loss of their members jobs.

      Unsuitable or offensive?
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      Anonymous | 20-Dec-2010 6:38 pm

      I think its only fair to say that NHS salaries are very good compared to the private sector and much of the new money introduced into the NHS went into salaries - Have a look at some of the salaries being offered today for, what can only be classified as, run of the mill jobs and they are in the £40K and above bands - sorry, its time to get real - In private industry £160K for an accountant is above and beyond and only offered in the top companies for really top accountants (not CIPFA but ACCA or ACMA)

      Unsuitable or offensive?
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      Anonymous | 20-Dec-2010 8:51 pm

      I think its only fair to say that NHS salaries are very good compared to the private sector and much of the new money introduced into the NHS went into salaries - Have a look at some of the salaries being offered today for, what can only be classified as, run of the mill jobs and they are in the £40K and above bands - sorry, its time to get real - In private industry £160K for an accountant is above and beyond and only offered in the top companies for really top accountants (not CIPFA but ACCA or ACMA)

      Unsuitable or offensive?
    *

      Anonymous | 21-Dec-2010 0:46 am

      Agreeing to this will not save jobs nor can it save jobs. Most NHS organisations are getting rid of thousands of jobs by "natural wastage". Redundancy is not a preferrred option because of its cost. This is a complete con trick on behalf of a governemnt to reduce pay in the health service and coupled with the bank of england printing money they aim is to shift the burden of the crisis onto us and workers everywhere. If the people of Britain want to survive and not be reduced to broken wretches at the mercy of finance capitalists we are going to have to build our opposition to stop them being paid vast sums at our expense and then making us pay. Further Paying the rich out of our pay and impoverishing us will further wreck society. We get 1% interest on any savings reduced wages increased costs on what we buy but the rich get huge interest on our money which is our accumulated wealth that they lend back to us or to governemnt at huge interest. The problem is to end the pay the rich society and invest in an economy that meets the needs of those who live and work in it. Defending our pay and conditions is synonymous with defending and safeguarding the future of the health service and the general interests of society.
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