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2016 Health Care Service Group Conference
10 December 2015
Carried as Amended

As organisations defending and promoting the interests of workers, pay is central to the function of Trade Unions. The achievement of the national NHS pay and conditions system, still known as Agenda for Change, represents a major development for UNISON, and for other NHS Trade Unions. The defence of this system and the lodging and prosecution of annual pay claims are core to UNISON’s work. UNISON demands that all who work in the NHS, irrespective of their employer, be paid on NHS Terms & Conditions.

UNISON therefore opposes the introduction of pay awards by employer diktat, such as the so-called ‘Living Wage’ (LW) and ‘London Living Wage’ (LLW). In London the LLW is £9.15/hour; the lowest point on NHS pay Band 1 is £9.85/hour with High Cost Area Supplement.

This means that LLW represents a pay cut of 70p/hour compared to NHS pay. In addition, LLW employers do not honour NHS terms and conditions of employment such as annual leave, unsocial hours and overtime. The net effect therefore is that paying LLW is driving down health workers living standards.

In addition, LLW and LW are set without negotiation with workers or the Unions and are unilaterally imposed by employers. They therefore represent a direct threat to the existence of UNISON and other Trade Unions.

Conference therefore resolves to reject LLW and LW wherever they appear or where they are imposed. Any NHS employer proclaiming that they are a ‘Living Wage Employer’ should be denounced and a campaign launched to convert them into an ‘NHS Pay and Conditions Employer’.

UNISON resolves to defend and promote the application of NHS pay and conditions to all those employed in delivering healthcare irrespective of who they are employed by (apart from Doctors and Dentists, who have their own negotiated pay systems).

UNISON will pursue this pay campaign with other Unions and with all employers locally, regionally and nationally.