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Health unions call for the government to act on public sector pay

Health unions call for the government to act on public sector pay

Seventeen unions representing employees across the NHS. Including the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, have today (Tuesday 4 July) expressed anger and deep disappointment at the government's failure to deal with the ongoing public sector pay crisis.

Unions say health staff are angry that ministers have still not said they will allow the pay review bodies to operate without interference, and will fully fund any recommendations they make.

NHS unions insist that another year of pay restraint is wholly unacceptable, and will cause long-lasting damage to the health service, its patients and its workforce.

The unions have also repeated the offer they made to health secretary Jeremy Hunt in June to work with the government and individual employers to address the short-term pay crisis and find a sustainable solution to the financial hardship experienced by dedicated NHS staff across the UK.

Last month, NHS unions wrote to the prime minister to ask the government to lift the pay cap. This was followed by an invitation to the health secretary to hold a summit to discuss the NHS pay crisis, which is having a severe effect on recruitment and retention across the UK.

Health unions will be submitting evidence to the pay review bodies when the process begins later this year. Evidence from the health unions will highlight the loss of value in pay suffered by NHS employees since their pay was first frozen in 2010.

There are two pay review bodies (PRB) that cover NHS staff. The PRB covering doctors and dentists recommended a headline one per cent pay award in March this year. The NHS PRB, which covers all other staff in the health service, also recommended a headline one per cent pay award in March. Both recommendations were constrained by remit letters sent to PRB chairs in July 2016 from Greg Hands, who was then chief secretary to the Treasury. These stated that the PRBs were expected to make recommendations costing only an average of one per cent, as that is all that would be funded by the government.

The 17 unions representing staff in the NHS are: the British Dental Association, the British Dietetic Association, the British Medical Association, the British Orthoptic Society, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the Federation of Clinical Scientists, GMB, the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association, Managers in Partnership, POA, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, the Society of Radiographers, UNISON and Unite.



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