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There should be no across-the-board pay rise for more than one million NHS non-medical staff in 2013/14, says the NHS Employers organisation in its evidence to the Pay Review Body (PRB), released today. However, more than 60 per cent of the nurses, midwives, administrators and other ancillary professions covered by the PRB will still receive a salary increase because they are entitled to climb the pay scale by an incremental point – worth 3.4 per cent on average, and equivalent to a 6.7 per cent pay rise for some.
Now that the government’s two-year public sector pay freeze is approaching its end, the PRB would have scope once again to recommend a more general uprating of the scale rates that underpin the long-term Agenda for Change programme. This compact between the government, NHS and trade unions, agreed eight years ago, provides a framework for the continuing process of harmonising pay scales and career progression.
NHS Employers wants to leave the pay scales untouched because, it argues, “current national pay and conditions arrangements are increasingly unaffordable for employers,” due to “the task of meeting growing demand and sustaining the quality of patient care, while achieving unprecedented efficiency savings of up to £20 billion by March 2015,” as required by the government.
The organisation says there is “no evidence from employers that any increase in the national scales is necessary to support the recruitment, retention or motivation of staff”. It reports that where there are known recruitment challenges within the non-medical workforce, “these are not related to the national pay scales and need wider solutions”.
Looking to the longer-term, NHS Employers says that a further freeze will help move the NHS towards pay arrangements that are, “better aligned to performance and productivity and…. more responsive to local needs”.
My partner works in the NHS in a Pathology Lab. I can assure anyone who cares to listen that following the recent spate of "voluntary redundancies" and "early retirements" plus the privatisation of many areas that morale in the NHS is non-existant. New technology has been introduced that frequently breaks down even though it needs less qualified people to operate it. Professional are effectively being de-skilled. There may not be problems with retention as certain personnel can only work in a medical environment and conditions in the privaste sector are much worse than the NHS in terms of shift pay, holidays and salaries to say nothing of any pension provision. Many staff like my partner are at the top of their incremental scale and have had no increase in pay for over two years. Being regularly "on call" is the only way he has of keeping his pay at the same level and this pay has also been reduced. Personally I know and have experienced much poorer standards of patient care. The NHS is broken. Emergency care is fantastic but after that standards are poor. The government is out of touch and ill-informed. Fundemental changes are needed but not lead by consultants, Drs or accountants. I despair and so do hundreds of thousands of NHS employees.
Could NHS Employers look at some temporary increase to the top point of the scale for each Band for those staff who have not had an increment in year, most of which have not seen an increase since April 2010. This is now starting to affect retention for staff that can do a similar role outside of the NHS, like Finance.
Not much of a pay freeze is it really? Six years with a 0% pay award in the private sector with every expectation that it will be the same again next year. An across board pay freeze on all public sector workers must be imposed until the defict is under control
So NHS staff, who are some of the poorest paid but most essential to London, will suffer fro m teh rising cost of housing in th ecapital with no (not even corresponding) pay rise to compensate for this.