Future Pay Determination in the NHS – an expanded pay review body

Back to all Motions

2007 Health Care Service Group Conference
18 April 2007

In the early 1980’s Nurses, Midwives, Health Visitors and other NHS staff took industrial action over pay. This action led to the creation of the Nurses and Other Health Professionals (Pay) Review Body which since its formation in 1984 has, in most years, recommended above inflation pay awards. Occupational Groups not covered by the Pay Review Body (PRB), such as Ancillary and Administrative and Clerical, have traditionally had to wait until the PRB process was complete.

Since the introduction of Agenda for Change and the principle of Equal Pay for work of Equal Value, the pay awards to all non-medical NHS staff are required to be broadly the same. However, the new system has replicated the faults of the old with non-PRB groups having to wait until the PRB process was complete, without any opportunity to contribute evidence on their own behalf.

Conference re-affirms its view that the current mechanism for pay determination contained in Section 40 of the NHS Terms & Conditions Handbook does not treat all of the staff fairly and equitably in that those staff not covered by the Nurses and Other Health Professions Review Body (NOHPRB) are denied either the opportunity to separately negotiate their pay or have their evidence considered by the NOHPRB.

Conference therefore supports the merging of pay spine 2 and 3 into a single pay spine and the creation of a unified and single mechanism of pay determination for all staff covered by the Agenda for Change agreement.

Conference welcomes the report from the Service Group Executive on its review of the pay determination structure conducted in consultation with UNISON’s Sector Committees and Regional Health Committees.

Conference notes that the outcome of this consultation showed that a majority of Sectors and a majority of Regions supported the option of widening the remit of the Pay Review Body to include all staff groups covered by Agenda for Change.

Conference further notes that with few exceptions the other trade unions on the Staff Council would support an independent Pay Review Body but would strongly oppose any move to abolish the NOHPRB in favour of a widened Pay Negotiation Council. It is clear therefore that a fundamental shift away from independent pay reviews to collective bargaining on pay is neither possible nor desirable in the immediate future.

Conference endorses the view that parity is best achieved by a unified pay determination structure that should cover all those staff groups employed in the NHS with the exception of those covered by the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Renumeration. This is best achieved through a widened Pay Review Body and the abolition of the PNC.

Conference calls upon the Health Care Service Group Executive in conjunction with the Health Group negotiators to ensure this process is changed for the next pay round, 2008/9, and to report back to Health Conference 2008 following the first year of operation.