The future of our NHS has been further endangered by the government’s decision not to consult the independent pay review body (PRB) – who assesses and advise the appropriate pay for all NHS staff – for recommendations on next year’s pay.
The decision, which is feared to ‘sound the death knell’ for the PRB, was made by Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander and will mean that the government will have full and unnegotiable reign over the terms and conditions of pay of all Agenda for Change staff for 2015/16.
“It is clear from Danny Alexander’s statement that NHS staff pay is set to become a political football, where dedicated health professionals are seeing their incomes supressed, while the rich and powerful prosper under the coalition’s polices,” said Unite national officer for health, Barrie Brown.
This decision is a deeper regression from last year where the government consulted the PRB but never implemented their recommendations; leaving the pay situation in disarray across the UK, with left NHS staff in England with an insulting ‘pay rise’ of just one per cent – and to those only already at the top of their pay band.
Unite, in partnership with other unions, will be balloting members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from August 26 in a stand against unfair pay. It is estimated the 1.3m workers in the NHS have seen their pay fall by up to 15 per cent in real terms since the coalition came to power in 2010.
This meant that 600,000 NHS staff did not receive the one per cent cost of living rise in April.
The ballot closes on 26 September.