UNISON pay ballot of Care Quality Commission staff opens

CQC staff are key to the safety of hospitals, care homes and emergency services around the country.

Staff at the Care Quality Commission in England will today (Friday) begin to vote in a strike ballot after being denied a pay rise this year, says UNISON.

CQC ​employees – who ​inspect, monitor and regulate hospitals, care homes, GP ​practices and dental surgeries, as well as ambulance and mental health services – have endured years without a significant pay rise, ​says the union. ​Since the start of 2010, the value of their wages has fallen by almost 20%.

​A 5% pay claim ​was submitted last June. Since then, inflation ​has risen to 5.4%, the highest level in nearly 30 years and the cost-of-living crisis has spiralled out of control​, says UNISON​. Despite this, ​the CQC has announced a pay freeze for all but the very lowest paid.

​But UNISON says CQC ​employees play a key role in ensuring the health and care sectors are safe ​so need to be recognised and ​given a decent pay rise.

UNISON national officer Matt Egan said: “CQC staff are key to the safety of hospitals, care homes and emergency services around the country.

“It’s the first time this group is being balloted for strike action​. Their pay has failed to keep up with the rising cost of living. This must be addressed and reversed. ​Staff deserve a decent pay rise for the essential work they do.

“Strike action is always a last resort​. But there’s still time for the ​CQC to review its pay policy and give ​its work​force a ​long overdue pay boost.”

Notes to editors
– CQC staff provide an essential public service ensuring health and ​social care ​organisations in England ​are safe.
– Most CQC staff have been subject to a pay freeze​, although those on the very lowest grades earning less than £24,000 have been given £250, as the government set out in its pay guidance.
– The CQC pay award covers the period 21 September 2021 to 22 August 2022. In an indicative ballot, UNISON members at the CQC voted 59% in favour of sustained industrial action to secure an improved pay offer.
– The other unions involved in the CQC pay claim are Prospect, RCN, Unite and PCS. ​
-UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts: 
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk