Reform writes wrong prescription for NHS pay
Breaking up national pay, terms and conditions would do nothing to improve patient care but would cause massive industrial unrest across the NHS, warned UNISON the UK’s largest union today. This is the union’s response to the latest report from right-wing think tank, Reform, urging the Government to support the rogue South West cartel’s efforts to do just that.
In addition, the union slammed the unhelpful timing of the report as it coincides with knife-edge negotiations taking place with NHS employers today (9 November) aimed at reaching a national agreement on Agenda for Change.
Christina McAnea, UNISON Head of Health, said:
“Reform’s report is writing the wrong prescription for NHS pay. It ignores the fact that Agenda for Change has a proven track record of delivering fairness and for keeping the industrial peace across the NHS. The agreement already contains the wherewithal for Trusts to link progression with training and development which is instrumental in delivering better patient care.
“However, the South West Cartel’s proposals go much further and are standing in the way of reaching a national agreement that would benefit patients and staff alike.
“We would agree that good workforce planning is essential to driving up standards in the NHS. We need to move away from professional silos and work together to make the best use of the skills within our hospitals and health centres.”
The union pointed to the lack of empirical evidence to support the reports’ claims about Salford Royal, which had high levels of satisfaction prior to the introduction of the link between pay and performance. The analysis of the latest staff survey at the hospital is partial and inaccurate said the union. Indeed the opposite is true in that it shows falling levels of satisfaction among staff since the introduction of the appraisal system. In addition fragmenting pay can de-stablise the NHS workforce across the NHS economy especially in cities like Manchester and Salford