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GMB Brighton NHS Demo

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

GMB Demo In Brighton On March 3rd To Stop Cuts In Pay For Staff Covering Unfilled Shifts At Brighton And Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust

Cutting the salaries of workers towards the bottom end of the pay scale will actually only increase the inequality between the highest and lowest paid in NHS says GMB.

GMB, the union for staff in the NHS, is organizing a protest demonstration on Monday, March 3rd at 11.00 am outside Brighton’s Royal Sussex Hospital over cuts in pay for staff who work unfilled and uncovered shifts at short notice throughout the Trust. This will co-incide with the new proposed implementation date for the pay cuts for these staff- called “bank” workers at the Hospital.

GMB is calling On the Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust to extend the current “hold” on its implementation of cuts to pay rates staff, and to take part in talks with GMB and other staff side representatives to find alternatives to once again implementing any unfair options of cutting the pay of workers who find themselves on the lowest end of the Trusts pay scales.

Gary Palmer, GMB regional organiser, said "This demo is to highlight the ridiculous position of the Chief Executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospital that these cuts are needed to assist in addressing pay inequality within the Trust. It is also to point out these cuts come at a time when Trust employees have effectively already really had to suffer from pay cuts year on year, due to pay freezes or awards that were below the rate of inflation.

GMB agrees that there is massive inequality in pay within the Trust; from the £14,298 at the bottom of band 2 to the £98,453 at the top of band 9.1. However cutting the salaries of workers towards the bottom end of the pay scale will actually only increase the inequality between the highest and lowest paid. If the Trust is serious about addressing pay inequality then it should be looking at ways of raising the bandings of its lower paid employees, not lowering them.

Many Nursing and HCA unfilled or uncovered shifts are worked as either additional hours by substantive post holders as a form of overtime because the cost of living in this area is high, or by others who sometimes feel that they cannot continue to work in a substantive position, and have had to therefore opt for the insecure and potentially vulnerable option of bank work and to rely entirely on these shifts for their income.

GMB suggests that the Trust consider why there are in the region of 8% posts vacant across the Trust. GMB is being told by our members that this is due to low morale, overwork, inadequate resourcing and consequent stressful relations between employees and their managers.

We consequently believe that these issues will not be addressed or improved by reducing the income of the workers currently trying to cover the consequential shortfalls in service provision, often in objectively difficult circumstances.

If the Trust is serious about filling substantive posts then it should offer staff rates of pay, working conditions and staffing templates, which will attract the right candidates to the post and encourage them to stay. After all wasn't that the argument the Trust used for paying the chief executive the exorbitant salary in the region of £180,000?

GMB believe the Trust's attempt to cut costs by further impoverishing its staff will have a detrimental effect on recruitment retention and sickness levels and will continue the process of running down the NHS; a process which this government has embarked upon, with its schedule of £20 billion of cuts, because it wishes to dismantle it and transfer it to the private sector.

The proposed cuts in wages are in effect a part of that same process, and we feel it would be naive to believe that the Trusts' attempts to reduce its labour costs will stop only with bank rates cuts.

GMB is calling on workers to join the demo on March 3rd and say not to pay cuts.”

End

Contact: Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser on 07552165950 or Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977518042 or Rob Macey, GMB Senior Organiser 07710 618 908 or GMB Press Office on 07921 289880

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