Pay is key to persuading staff to stay in the NHS

Commenting on new analysis analysis by researchers at the University of Bath published today (Thursday) showing the extent to which NHS are looking for work outside the health service, UNISON head of health Helga Pile said:

“When some NHS workers are earning just a penny more than the minimum wage, it’s little wonder many don’t feel like staying.

“Supermarkets are paying higher rates and can offer staff discounts and much less stressful jobs.

“But a prompt and decent pay rise could persuade demoralised staff to stay so vacancies don’t worsen.

“Proper investment in the NHS would also help relieve some of the pressure and ensure patients get quality care.”

Notes to editors:
– 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
Liz Chinchen M: 0778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk

The article Pay is key to persuading staff to stay in the NHS first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Health: ‘The government treats us like April fools’ on pay

Business at health conference turned to pay on Tuesday morning.

First, conference discussed an emergency motion on NHS pay 2024-25. The motion pointed out that once again, the government has failed to conduct annual pay reviews in a timely fashion.

Moving the motion, James Anthony of the SGE said: “Like clockwork, in April, everything goes up. Bills council tax, everything. Except, like clockwork, NHS pay.

“Once again the government treats us like April fools.”

He highlighted that Band two members are now paid just one penny above the minimum wage: “A whacking 55p below the real living wage.”

The motion noted the health SGE’s decision to launch a pro-active formal consultation in England to gauge the strength of feeling of members.

James told delegates: “This consultation is the most important thing we’re going to do when we come back from conference – so let’s go back and talk about pay.”

Gillian Hobson from the North West region followed, telling delegates: “This year we need to send a clear message: let nothing go. Detriment is not on the table and we will not accept damage to any of our Ts & Cs.

“No more delays, a proper pay rise, proper rebanding, a shorter working week. Let nothing go.”

Once bitten twice shy – the fight for pay parity

Continuing on the theme of government inaction, conference heard that health workers in Northern Ireland have still not received the 2023 Agenda for Change pay award.

Stephanie Greenwood, moving a motion on the fight for pay parity for Northern Ireland region, asked her NI regional colleagues to stand from their seats in the hall.

Referencing the continued strike action across Northern Ireland health over the last year, she said: “These are some of the individuals who led thousands of colleagues out of their workplaces day after day in bitter conditions. Look them in the eye and support them.”

She warned delegates, “Never again leave anyone behind,” asking conference to vote to ensure that, in future pay rounds, this scenario will not be repeated and that parity for Northern Ireland is built into future negotiations.

The NHS must become a Real Living Wage Employer

The final motion of the morning saw conference call for the NHS to become a real living wage employer.

Maria Demitri moved the motion for North West Anglia Hospitals. She said: “The NHS in England employs 1.7m people, it is one of the worlds biggest employers.”

The motion read that more and more low paid staff in the NHS are earning a wage that is less than the Real Living Wage of £12.00 an hour. Ms Demitri also noted that many of those employees are paid only a penny more than the minimum wage, if they are on band 2.

She said: “Many of these workers increasingly leaving the NHS because they can earn more elsewhere.”

She argued it used to be difficult to get a job in many jobs in the NHS, from healthcare assistant, administrator, porter to catering assistant. But, because of chronic low pay there are now thousands of vacancies in these roles across the NHS as workers search elsewhere for higher paid jobs in supermarkets and call centres.

The article Health: ‘The government treats us like April fools’ on pay first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Health: ‘The government treats us like April fools’ on pay

Business at health conference turned to pay on Tuesday morning.

First, conference discussed an emergency motion on NHS pay 2024-25. The motion pointed out that once again, the government has failed to conduct annual pay reviews in a timely fashion.

Moving the motion, James Anthony of the SGE said: “Like clockwork, in April, everything goes up. Bills council tax, everything. Except, like clockwork, NHS pay.

“Once again the government treats us like April fools.”

He highlighted that Band two members are now paid just one penny above the minimum wage: “A whacking 55p below the real living wage.”

The motion noted the health SGE’s decision to launch a pro-active formal consultation in England to gauge the strength of feeling of members.

James told delegates: “This consultation is the most important thing we’re going to do when we come back from conference – so let’s go back and talk about pay.”

Gillian Hobson from the North West region followed, telling delegates: “This year we need to send a clear message: let nothing go. Detriment is not on the table and we will not accept damage to any of our Ts & Cs.

“No more delays, a proper pay rise, proper rebanding, a shorter working week. Let nothing go.”

Once bitten twice shy – the fight for pay parity

Continuing on the theme of government inaction, conference heard that health workers in Northern Ireland have still not received the 2023 Agenda for Change pay award.

Stephanie Greenwood, moving a motion on the fight for pay parity for Northern Ireland region, asked her NI regional colleagues to stand from their seats in the hall.

Referencing the continued strike action across Northern Ireland health over the last year, she said: “These are some of the individuals who led thousands of colleagues out of their workplaces day after day in bitter conditions. Look them in the eye and support them.”

She warned delegates, “Never again leave anyone behind,” asking conference to vote to ensure that, in future pay rounds, this scenario will not be repeated and that parity for Northern Ireland is built into future negotiations.

The NHS must become a Real Living Wage Employer

The final motion of the morning saw conference call for the NHS to become a real living wage employer.

Maria Demitri moved the motion for North West Anglia Hospitals. She said: “The NHS in England employs 1.7m people, it is one of the worlds biggest employers.”

The motion read that more and more low paid staff in the NHS are earning a wage that is less than the Real Living Wage of £12.00 an hour. Ms Demitri also noted that many of those employees are paid only a penny more than the minimum wage, if they are on band 2.

She said: “Many of these workers increasingly leaving the NHS because they can earn more elsewhere.”

She argued it used to be difficult to get a job in many jobs in the NHS, from healthcare assistant, administrator, porter to catering assistant. But, because of chronic low pay there are now thousands of vacancies in these roles across the NHS as workers search elsewhere for higher paid jobs in supermarkets and call centres.

The article Health: ‘The government treats us like April fools’ on pay first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Pay rise for thousands of NHS staff already overdue

The government has let down hundreds of thousands of “demoralised” NHS staff after yet again failing to honour the due date for their annual pay increase, says UNISON today (Friday).

The union has written to health secretary Victoria Atkins to say government delays are to blame for workers not receiving their 2024/25 wage rise, which was due on Easter Monday.

With the cost-of-living crisis far from over, the government’s silence on NHS pay means health staff remain in the dark about how to budget, adds the union.

And with ministers choosing the lengthy NHS pay review body process over direct talks with unions, staff are likely to be left out of pocket for many more months, UNISON says.

To add insult to injury, the week when health workers should have found out how much the government intends to pay them this year is also when many of their household bills rose significantly.

From this week, millions of people will be paying substantially more for their council tax, water, broadband, mobile phones and TV licences.

Nurses, cleaners, ambulance workers and other NHS staff now “face months of uncertainty” because the government was late beginning the pay review process and in submitting its own evidence, the union’s letter explains.

The letter to Victoria Atkins goes on to say that a “desperately needed annual pay rise” is vital to help staff “pay their bills and stop the steady stream of their colleagues leaving for better-paid jobs elsewhere”.

Frustration with the government’s handling of pay means staff at every level of the NHS – including operating department workers, porters, 999 call handlers, nurses and healthcare assistants – have already made up their minds to leave their current jobs, the letter adds.

And there’s a particular problem with the staff on the lowest NHS pay bands who now earn just a penny more an hour than the statutory minimum wage, says UNISON.

To ensure the wages they pay remain within the law, employers are now having to deny these workers access to salary-deduction schemes?that?previously helped staff pay for essentials like workplace parking, childcare and?their travel to work.

The letter says each month that passes without a pay deal is “a wasted opportunity by government to give staff a reason to stay” in the NHS.

The more staff who leave, the greater “the mammoth task” of reducing treatment waiting lists and unfilled vacancies, according to the letter to the health secretary.

Supermarkets including Aldi, Tesco and Lidl are now paying at least the real living wage of £12 an hour, which is 55p higher than the lowest NHS pay rates.

UNISON’s letter says low-paid NHS staff are understandably quitting to take up these more lucrative, less stressful jobs, which could see them as much as £80 a month better off.

The letter adds: “It’s no wonder low-paid NHS staff are leaving to seize these opportunities of an immediate extra pay boost, money that can make the difference between putting food on the table or seeing their families go hungry.”

UNISON head of health Helga Pile said: “Health workers should know what wage rise they’re getting on the day it’s due.

“But instead of doing everything possible to hang on to demoralised NHS employees, government delays over pay are simply giving staff another reason to leave.

“Ministers say they want to get waiting lists down, but if the gaps in NHS staffing worsen, this will remain an impossible pipe dream.

“Making the workforce feel valued by awarding a decent pay rise on time could prove enough to persuade exhausted staff to stay. Employers too want a prompt wage settlement, so they can budget for it, vacancies don’t worsen, patients get the quality care they deserve and delays for treatment reduce.

“It’s clearer than ever the pay review body process is no longer able to achieve what it was set up to do. The time it takes to recommend the yearly wage rise is actually damaging the NHS. Direct pay talks would be far quicker and simpler. The government is in danger of missing an open goal.”

Notes to editors:
UNISON’s annual health conference takes place next week from Monday 8 to Wednesday 10 April. It takes place at the Brighton Centre, Kings Road, Brighton BN1 2GR. Health workers from across the UK will be in attendance to debate a variety of motions including NHS pay, mileage rates, bank staff, shorter working weeks, support for healthcare students, tackling racism, mental health, sexual safety, healthcare assistant rebanding, artificial intelligence and safe staffing. UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea will address the conference on Tuesday morning.
– 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
Fatima Ayad M: 07508 080383 E: f.ayad@unison.co.uk

The article Pay rise for thousands of NHS staff already overdue first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Pay rise for thousands of NHS staff already overdue

The government has let down hundreds of thousands of “demoralised” NHS staff after yet again failing to honour the due date for their annual pay increase, says UNISON today (Friday).

The union has written to health secretary Victoria Atkins to say government delays are to blame for workers not receiving their 2024/25 wage rise, which was due on Easter Monday.

With the cost-of-living crisis far from over, the government’s silence on NHS pay means health staff remain in the dark about how to budget, adds the union.

And with ministers choosing the lengthy NHS pay review body process over direct talks with unions, staff are likely to be left out of pocket for many more months, UNISON says.

To add insult to injury, the week when health workers should have found out how much the government intends to pay them this year is also when many of their household bills rose significantly.

From this week, millions of people will be paying substantially more for their council tax, water, broadband, mobile phones and TV licences.

Nurses, cleaners, ambulance workers and other NHS staff now “face months of uncertainty” because the government was late beginning the pay review process and in submitting its own evidence, the union’s letter explains.

The letter to Victoria Atkins goes on to say that a “desperately needed annual pay rise” is vital to help staff “pay their bills and stop the steady stream of their colleagues leaving for better-paid jobs elsewhere”.

Frustration with the government’s handling of pay means staff at every level of the NHS – including operating department workers, porters, 999 call handlers, nurses and healthcare assistants – have already made up their minds to leave their current jobs, the letter adds.

And there’s a particular problem with the staff on the lowest NHS pay bands who now earn just a penny more an hour than the statutory minimum wage, says UNISON.

To ensure the wages they pay remain within the law, employers are now having to deny these workers access to salary-deduction schemes?that?previously helped staff pay for essentials like workplace parking, childcare and?their travel to work.

The letter says each month that passes without a pay deal is “a wasted opportunity by government to give staff a reason to stay” in the NHS.

The more staff who leave, the greater “the mammoth task” of reducing treatment waiting lists and unfilled vacancies, according to the letter to the health secretary.

Supermarkets including Aldi, Tesco and Lidl are now paying at least the real living wage of £12 an hour, which is 55p higher than the lowest NHS pay rates.

UNISON’s letter says low-paid NHS staff are understandably quitting to take up these more lucrative, less stressful jobs, which could see them as much as £80 a month better off.

The letter adds: “It’s no wonder low-paid NHS staff are leaving to seize these opportunities of an immediate extra pay boost, money that can make the difference between putting food on the table or seeing their families go hungry.”

UNISON head of health Helga Pile said: “Health workers should know what wage rise they’re getting on the day it’s due.

“But instead of doing everything possible to hang on to demoralised NHS employees, government delays over pay are simply giving staff another reason to leave.

“Ministers say they want to get waiting lists down, but if the gaps in NHS staffing worsen, this will remain an impossible pipe dream.

“Making the workforce feel valued by awarding a decent pay rise on time could prove enough to persuade exhausted staff to stay. Employers too want a prompt wage settlement, so they can budget for it, vacancies don’t worsen, patients get the quality care they deserve and delays for treatment reduce.

“It’s clearer than ever the pay review body process is no longer able to achieve what it was set up to do. The time it takes to recommend the yearly wage rise is actually damaging the NHS. Direct pay talks would be far quicker and simpler. The government is in danger of missing an open goal.”

Notes to editors:
UNISON’s annual health conference takes place next week from Monday 8 to Wednesday 10 April. It takes place at the Brighton Centre, Kings Road, Brighton BN1 2GR. Health workers from across the UK will be in attendance to debate a variety of motions including NHS pay, mileage rates, bank staff, shorter working weeks, support for healthcare students, tackling racism, mental health, sexual safety, healthcare assistant rebanding, artificial intelligence and safe staffing. UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea will address the conference on Tuesday morning.
– 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
Fatima Ayad M: 07508 080383 E: f.ayad@unison.co.uk

The article Pay rise for thousands of NHS staff already overdue first appeared on the UNISON National site.

NHS can’t provide quality care until staffing crisis resolved, says UNISON   

Responding to findings published today (Wednesday) by the National Centre for Social Research that public satisfaction with the NHS is the lowest level on record, UNISON head of health Helga Pile said:

“The NHS cannot provide the quality care people need until the staffing crisis is addressed. Patients are suffering because of government inaction.

“Low pay and burnout are to blame for nurses, paramedics and other health workers quitting the service.

“When the minimum wage increases next week, the lowest paid NHS staff will only be earning one pence an hour above the legal minimum.

“It’s not surprising they’re leaving for jobs elsewhere when supermarkets are paying much better hourly rates.

“The government must hold pay talks now, guarantee health workers a proper rise, stem the staffing exodus and improve patient care.”

Notes to editors:
– 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:
Fatima Ayad M: 07508 080383 E: f.ayad@unison.co.uk
Sophie Goodchild M: 07767 325595 E: s.goodchild@unison.co.uk

The article NHS can’t provide quality care until staffing crisis resolved, says UNISON    first appeared on the UNISON National site.

NHS can’t provide quality care until staffing crisis resolved, says UNISON   

Responding to findings published today (Wednesday) by the National Centre for Social Research that public satisfaction with the NHS is the lowest level on record, UNISON head of health Helga Pile said:

“The NHS cannot provide the quality care people need until the staffing crisis is addressed. Patients are suffering because of government inaction.

“Low pay and burnout are to blame for nurses, paramedics and other health workers quitting the service.

“When the minimum wage increases next week, the lowest paid NHS staff will only be earning one pence an hour above the legal minimum.

“It’s not surprising they’re leaving for jobs elsewhere when supermarkets are paying much better hourly rates.

“The government must hold pay talks now, guarantee health workers a proper rise, stem the staffing exodus and improve patient care.”

Notes to editors:
– 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:
Fatima Ayad M: 07508 080383 E: f.ayad@unison.co.uk
Sophie Goodchild M: 07767 325595 E: s.goodchild@unison.co.uk

The article NHS can’t provide quality care until staffing crisis resolved, says UNISON    first appeared on the UNISON National site.

NHS pay key to cutting waiting lists, says UNISON

Commenting on the publication of the government’s evidence to the NHS pay review body, UNISON acting head of health Helga Pile said:

“NHS workers should be getting this year’s wage rise in a matter of weeks. But because ministers were so late getting the pay review body process started and didn’t get their own evidence in on time, staff will now have to wait months. This simply isn’t good enough.

“Unless the government gets a handle on pay and gives health workers a fair wage rise this year, many experienced staff will continue to be lost from the service.

“It’s time ministers cast aside the outdated, lengthy and bureaucratic pay review body process.

“Getting health unions and employers in for pay talks would be the fastest, smartest way for the government to start to solve the staffing crisis.

“The government must negotiate a proper pay package for health workers to halt the steady drain of experience from the NHS.

“The public would much rather an efficient NHS, which can see and treat them quickly when they need its help, than have a few extra pennies in their pockets.

“The chancellor should forget about trying to fool the public with tax cuts next week. Instead, his focus should be investing in the NHS workforce to get waiting lists down and prompt treatment for the many people currently too ill to work.”

Notes to editors:
– 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:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk

 

The article NHS pay key to cutting waiting lists, says UNISON first appeared on the UNISON National site.

NHS pay key to cutting waiting lists, says UNISON

Commenting on the publication of the government’s evidence to the NHS pay review body, UNISON acting head of health Helga Pile said:

“NHS workers should be getting this year’s wage rise in a matter of weeks. But because ministers were so late getting the pay review body process started and didn’t get their own evidence in on time, staff will now have to wait months. This simply isn’t good enough.

“Unless the government gets a handle on pay and gives health workers a fair wage rise this year, many experienced staff will continue to be lost from the service.

“It’s time ministers cast aside the outdated, lengthy and bureaucratic pay review body process.

“Getting health unions and employers in for pay talks would be the fastest, smartest way for the government to start to solve the staffing crisis.

“The government must negotiate a proper pay package for health workers to halt the steady drain of experience from the NHS.

“The public would much rather an efficient NHS, which can see and treat them quickly when they need its help, than have a few extra pennies in their pockets.

“The chancellor should forget about trying to fool the public with tax cuts next week. Instead, his focus should be investing in the NHS workforce to get waiting lists down and prompt treatment for the many people currently too ill to work.”

Notes to editors:
– 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:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk

 

The article NHS pay key to cutting waiting lists, says UNISON first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Mitie must pay healthcare workers what they are owed or strikes will continue, say UNISON and Unite

Mitie chief executive Phil Bentley must pay healthcare workers in the West Midlands the lump sum they are owed, say UNISON and Unite today (Thursday).

The general secretaries of the UK’s two largest unions have written to Mr Bentley to say strikes* planned for today (Thursday) from 5am and next Friday (8 March) will go ahead unless hospital staff get a one-off £1,655 payment** that other NHS staff have already received.

Cleaners, porters and catering employees are among around 370 workers set to strike again following action which began with Unite in December.

All are contracted by Mitie to work at three hospitals run by The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and are among the lowest-paid staff in the NHS.

The letter to Mr Bentley says that the £1,655 lump sum was part of the deal agreed by the government and health unions last year following strikes in the NHS. The one-off payment has already been awarded to “hundreds of thousands of NHS employees”.

The letter says many of the staff “worked, alongside their NHS colleagues, throughout the Covid pandemic”, and that Mitie is “treating them unfairly and forcing them into hardship” by withholding the money.

UNISON and Unite say the company claims the extra payment is unaffordable. The letter adds: “If that is the case, then we struggle to see how Mitie could pay the £5.9m remuneration package you (Mr Bentley) received last year, or your annual bonus.

“Mitie can easily afford to pay the lump sum. Its profits were generated from the hard work and dedication of low-paid employees. They (the staff) put their own health at risk and that of their families for no additional reward.”

Mitie is attempting to break the strikes by bussing in staff represented by the Prison Officers’ Association from other NHS sites, which the unions say is “despicable”.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Health staff would rather be back at work than on the picket line. But Mitie has forced them into taking strike action.

“The company says it hasn’t got the money to pay this lump sum. Yet it can find the cash to spend on bringing in strike-breaking workers from sites miles away.

“Mitie must do what’s right and pay up now or the strikes will continue.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is shameful that these vital workers who keep the NHS going are being kicked in the teeth by their employer. Mitie is a multi-million-pound company which announced huge profits last year. It can easily afford to pay them the money they are owed.

“Instead, Mitie has dragged its feet every step of the way and forced some of the lowest-paid workers in the NHS onto the picket line in their fight for fair pay. They will have Unite’s full backing.”

Notes to editors:
– *A picket will in place outside the entrance to Russells Hall Hospital, Pensnett Road/High Street, Dudley from 8am to noon today. Photographs will be available on request.
-? **In June 2023, a deal was agreed for all staff on NHS contracts who are on Agenda for Change pay scales. This included a one-off payment for 2022/23.
– 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.
– Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.

Media contacts:
Ollie Hopkins M: 07939 143195 E: o.hopkins@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk
David Carnell M: 07718 666592 E: david.carnell@unitetheunion.org

The article Mitie must pay healthcare workers what they are owed or strikes will continue, say UNISON and Unite first appeared on the UNISON National site.