Blog: I urge members to make sure they have their say on pay

UNISON members working for the Environment Agency, together with Scottish health members, are being consulted on their respective pay offers.

If you’re an NHS worker in Scotland, you only have a few days left to have your say on the 5% pay offer. UNISON, along with other health unions, asked for an above inflation pay award, so we’re asking members to reject the pay deal.

For EA members, the consultative ballot that opened this week closes on 2 September. The agency is underfunded, and its workers are undervalued and underpaid.

I’ve said before that poverty is created by political choices – and pay is decided by choices too. Choices are made by the Cabinet Office about how much money the agency gets to protect the environment, support our communities and reward staff.

I urge our EA members to reject the insulting pay offer of 2% plus £345, which follows a 0% rise for most staff in 2021, which itself came after a decade of below inflation pay deals.

Unsurprisingly, workers in both the NHS and the EA are suffering from the cost of living crisis. Wages are thousands of pounds below where they would be now if they’d kept up with inflation over the last decade. Earning enough to live in the present and plan for the future is not a reality for most public service workers.

NHS and EA staff work in very different circumstances, but have the shared aim of protecting people’s health. Their work is interlinked, as a poor environment doesn’t support a healthy population. Losing staff because of poor wages and declining standards of living is a risk to everyone.

Our members are always key to delivering huge public programmes that benefit millions, whether it’s the COVID vaccine roll out, or huge flood defence improvement programmes. Their work is always 24/7.

Squeezing public sector budgets undermines the ability of both the NHS and the agency to protect people, support our communities, and reward staff to make sure experienced and skilled staff are retained.

The government needs to put its money where its mouth is and recognise the value to our society of having well-paid, well-resourced workforces able to deliver every day and ready to deal with crises when they come.

Until they do, we need to keep up the pressure and make sure every member responds to our consultations.

You will have received an email ballot, but if you haven’t, then contact UNISON Direct on 0800 0 857 857.

The article Blog: I urge members to make sure they have their say on pay first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Government must take responsibility for the NHS and social care workforce crisis, says UNISON  

Responding to the Health and Social Care Committee’s workforce report published today (Monday), UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“The staffing crisis in the NHS and social care grows worse by the day as employees leave for fairer wages on the high street and elsewhere.

“The government’s had years to improve the workforce situation but has done little. Only last week ministers could have acted to stop the exodus of porters, healthcare assistants and other NHS staff with an above-inflation wage rise. But chose not to.

“Instead, the government refuses to invest in the staff so critical to the NHS. Th?at means longer waiting lists and ambulance delays, with even more patients forced to fork out for private tests and treatment.

“?Rishi Sunak says tackling the NHS backlog is the UK’s biggest public services emergency. But this won’t happen without proper investment in the NHS and social care workforce. ?That must begin with a decent pay rise for all staff.”

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.

The article Government must take responsibility for the NHS and social care workforce crisis, says UNISON   first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Underfunded adult social care will continue to lose staff unless ministers act, says UNISON

Responding to a new report by Skills for Care on the size and structure of the social care workforce, UNISON social care lead Gavin Edwards said today (Wednesday):

“The scale of vacancies is alarming, and not just for those who rely on care and their families. The sorry state of social care is having a disastrous effect on the NHS, causing massive treatment waits, letting down patients and putting unbearable pressure on health staff.

“The care sector is acutely underfunded. Wages are way too low leaving staff unable to cope with the rising cost of living.  

“Supermarkets are paying better rates without the stress, so it’s no surprise that people are jumping ship.

“Nothing short of a complete overhaul of the care sector will do. The government must act or vulnerable people won’t get the care they need and deserve, and the NHS will be on its knees.”

The article Underfunded adult social care will continue to lose staff unless ministers act, says UNISON first appeared on the UNISON National site.