Please find attached the GMB Newsletter advising that members reject the governments pay offer.
The reasons for the rejections are:
1) With over half of NHS employees, already being on the top of the pay scale, an offer of 6.5% over three years amounts to a pay cap, with inflation estimated by Government to be 9.6% over that period. Inflation is currently running at 3.6% (RPI), and an award of 3% is a cut in living standards. In year two, the increase is only 1.7% and in year three only 1.67%. There will be a 1.1% non-consolidated cash payment in year two, but for most staff in bands 1 to 3 it will amount to less than £250 (before tax and NI).
2) Currently this offer only applies to direct NHS employees. A growing number of NHS Trusts have set up wholly owned, but essentially private companies, and transferred large numbers of NHS employees into these companies. Primarily these wholly owned subsidiaries have been set up to avoid the payment of VAT, which is a scandal in itself, but as employees of limited companies rather than of NHS Trusts, these staff are no longer classed as NHS employees, and may not get the benefit of the NHS Pay Agreement. Many of the staff concerned are in bands 1 to 3, the lowest paid in the NHS.
3) The system of automatic annual pay progressions will disappear. While there will be fewer points for most bands, staff will have to ASK to progress, and staff will have to demonstrate that they are worthy to progress to the next point by proving that they have received the appropriate level of training, have not had disciplinary sanctions, or questions about competence or performance. Many staff may have to stay on each point for two or three years. GMB representatives in the NHS believe that employers and managers will use this tool to stop staff progressing simply to save money, especially as many NHS Trusts have significant deficits.
4) New Ambulance staff will be on different (and worse) terms and conditions of employment than current Ambulance staff in respect of unsocial hours payments, payment of unsocial hours during sick pay, and from September 2018, unsocial hours payments will no longer be paid during sick absence to ANY NHS employee. Rates of unsocial hours payment will be cut over the three year period for bands 1-3.
On Wednesday 21st March 2018, The NHS Staff Council met and unions, with the exception of GMB have agreed to recommend the NHS Pay deal.
GMB – the Union for NHS Staff, will undertake a ballot of members from the middle of April to 6th June.