UNISON welcomes u-turn on regional pay in NHS
UNISON, the UK’s largest union, today welcomed the Government’s u-turn on regional pay for workers in the NHS calling it ‘a victory for common sense’.
Agenda for Change is clearly the fairest and most efficient way of determining pay for those who work so hard to deliver our National Health Service said the union.
“We are pleased that the Government has realised what UNISON has been saying right from the start” said Christina McAnea, UNISON Head of Health, “introducing regional pay in the NHS would have been an expensive, bureaucratic nightmare.
“The NHS is already going through massive upheaval because of the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill and breaking up national pay bargaining would have caused even more conflict, which is bad for patients and staff.
“George Osborne’s claims that national pay ‘crowded out’ investment in regional economies and ‘hurt’ the private sector never did stack up. There is a positive case in the NHS for nationally determined pay which is fair, equitable and flexible enough to deal with recruitment and retention issues.”
“Regional pay would cause have also led to skills shortages in so called low cost areas with nurses, midwives and specialised staff being hard to recruit and retain, hitting the care of local patients.”
The current pay system, Agenda for Change took many years to develop and implement and is recognised by all as the tool to deliver fair pay consistent with employment law and is equality proofed. It was only brought in between 2004 – 2006 and was designed partly to solve the many problems associated with diverse and local pay.