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GMB Members In NHS Pay Protests

Thursday, June 5, 2014

GMB Members Across England Join 5th June Protests As First Step In NHS Pay Campaign

Government have attacked pay and conditions and have failed to set out any direction as to what will happen to NHS pay in 2016 so we will not sit back and allow this says GMB.

GMB, the union for staff in the NHS, are taking part in protest action short of industrial action on June 5th across England following the Government’s rejection of the NHS pay review body’s recommendations for pay from 1st April 2014 for NHS staff.

Protests can take a variety of forms including lunchtime rallies and protests, campaign stalls, petitions, public meetings and meetings with MPs.

There is a protest at the Department of Health in Whitehall at 11.45am featuring NHS staff and GMB representatives with TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady. Rehana Azam GMB National Officer is attending the protest at noon in Liverpool outside the ACC at Kings Dock, Liverpool Waterfront L3 4FP where the 2014 NHS Confederation conference is taking place.  These are just two of the numerous events taking place across England – in Norwich, Nottingham, Bristol, Salisbury, Kingston upon Thames, Manchester and Leeds.

GMB is formally consulting members on the offer put forward for NHS pay.  See notes to editors for details of offer and GMB response.

The details of the offer are as follows:

  • The Government is going to freeze the top of NHS pay bands to April 2013 pay rates.
  • All staff on top of their pay band will receive a 1% nonconsolidated pay rise 2014/15 & 2015/16.
  • Non-consolidated means the 1% is not wrapped up or included on any allowances such as overtime rates, unsociable hours allowance or pension.
  • The non-consolidated 1% is calculated on basic/flat salary.
  • NHS staffs still progressing across their pay bands & subject to satisfactory performance and criteria should receive their incremental progression as set out in the Agenda for Change agreement but not the 1%.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer for GMB members in NHS, said “The government are looking to implement a nonconsolidated pay award for 2014/15 & 2015/16. In short pay rates are frozen as of 2013 pay rates. The 1% over the next two years is not consolidated. This is a direct attack on how NHS pay has been awarded over the years.

The government have clearly attacked pay and conditions and have failed to set out any direction as to what will happen to NHS pay in 2016. The national Agenda for Change agreement has been attacked and GMB will not sit back and allow this.

GMB has consistently fought to retain a national agreement. GMB members were right to reject changes to the national agreement in 2013. We need to organise a fight back and we need every GMB member to have their say. NHS staff work tirelessly and this direct attack is unacceptable.”

End

Contact: Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer 07841 181656 or GMB Press Office on 07921 289880 or 020 7391 6755/56.

Notes to editors

Copy of GMB press release of 13th March 2014.

GMB BALLOT TO CONSULT MEMBERS OVER INSULTING PAY OFFER FOR NHS STAFF

How will blocking this meagre rise help living standards to recover to pre- recession levels with UK output per head is still 5.7% below level in 2007 and workers need a decent pay rise says GMB

GMB, the union for NHS workers, responded to the publication of the Government response to the NHS Pay Review Body recommendations on the pay of NHS workers. See notes to editors for copy of statement by HM Treasury.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer for the NHS, said, "GMB members across the country will take the blocking of a full 1% pay rise as a personal insult.

GMB members will not stand aside whilst the Government makes such direct attacks on their pay and conditions. GMB will immediately begin making arrangements to consult members who members will be asked to vote in a consultative ballot to decide the next steps in this dispute.

How will blocking this meagre rise help living standards to recover to pre- recession levels. UK GDP output per head was £23,894 in 2013. This is 5.7% below the £25,326 per head in 2007. This fall in output per head is the root cause of the 13.8% drop in the real value of average earnings in the UK between April 2008 and November 2013. Workers in the NHS need a decent pay rise.

NHS England continues to produce underspends so billions are paid back to the Treasury for deficit reduction. Any underspend should go back into the NHS to improve services so GMB don't accept the arguments a full 1% pay rise is unaffordable.

This attack on pay comes in the same week the Government pushed through the controversial Clause 119, an amendment to the Care Bill which will allow the Government to serve notice on any hospital in England to have them asset stripped within 40 days.

This new dispute is in addition to the suspended industrial action ballot in the Ambulance Service whilst discussions are on-going with employers over attempts to cut ambulance staff sick pay by up to 25%.” 

Martin Jackson, GMB NHS Chair, said 'NHS workers up and down the country are doing their incredible best, against a backdrop of NHS cuts and reorganisations. We are facing an unprecedented increase in demand for NHS Services and this constant government meddling on pay and conditions is just a step too far. Many GMB members were counting on the paltry 1% to help subsidise the increase in cost of pension contributions which are to come in next month. Our cost of living has increased, we have had years of pay restraint and now we are told we are not even going to receive the 1% the Chancellor set out in the last budget. I have worked as a nurse for many years and GMB members up and down the country are telling me enough is enough'

Steve Rice GMB Ambulance Chair said 'We are seeing down grading of A&E depts, we are seeing Ambulance workers queuing to handover patients to hospitals. We are seeing unprecedented numbers of people going to A&E depts - the increase in demand is not the fault of NHS workers in the Ambulance Service. The increase in demand in the NHS is the Government fault and their sheer inability to stop meddling in the NHS. If they are not meddling, controlling Clinicians in what they can and can't do, they have been meddling with our hard fought terms and conditions. At a time when demand on the ambulance service workers and NHS is high and growing we have been giving much more for much less and now we are told the less we have endured is being devalued again and it's a step too far'” 

Ends

Notes to editors

Press Notice from HM Treasury 13/03/14

Public sector pay awards for 2014-15

The government has today set out the pay awards for over one million public sector workers in line with the policy of a one percent pay rise in 2014-15.

The following independent Pay Review Bodies (PRB) were asked to examine how a one percent pay increase could be applied across the relevant public sector workforces:

-          Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB)

-          NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB)

-          Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB)

-          Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB)

-          Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB)

The government response to the Pay Review Bodies' recommendations confirms that all but the most highly paid public sector workers will receive a pay increase in the next financial year.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said
"Public sector workers make a vital contribution to the effective delivery of public services. We need to continue with public sector pay restraint in order to put the nation's finances back on a sustainable footing.
"We are delivering on our commitment to a one percent pay rise for all except some of the most senior public sector workers."

The pay allocations by workforce:

-          Armed Forces: accept recommendations for a one percent increase.

-          NHS staff and salaried doctors: all except the most senior managers will receive one percent additional pay. Those getting a progression pay increase (incremental pay increases for time served in a role typically worth over three percent) will only receive this. This is around 600,000 people (over 50 percent) of NHS staff. Anyone not getting progression pay will get a one percent payment instead. However, about 400 'Very Senior Managers' in the NHS do not receive progression pay and will not receive a one percent payment. The total policy will save over £200 million in 2014-15 and over £400 million in 2015-16, which will be reinvested into the health service and help protect jobs.

-          Contractor doctors and dentists: will receive a one percent pay increase.

-          Police & Crime Commissioners: will not receive a pay increase.

-          Senior Civil Servants: departments given the flexibility to determine how to allocate a one percent award across the workforce.

-          Prison service: accept recommendations for a one percent pay increase for the majority of prison officers.

-          Judiciary: accept recommendations for a one percent pay increase.

The public sector paybill makes up over half of departmental resource spending, therefore continued pay restraint remains central to the government's deficit reduction strategy. Public sector pay restraint has already helped protect thousands of jobs and frontline services.

Notes for Editors
1.   The Pay Review Bodies are independent bodies composed of members from a variety of professional, academic and business backgrounds. The Chair of each review body is appointed by the Prime Minister in consultation with the applicable Secretary of State.
2.   The Government has received the Pay Review Body reports from the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB), NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB), the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB), Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB), and the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB). These are all published at http://www.ome.uk.com/Review_Bodies.aspx
3.   The following workforces are affected

Prison Service England & Wales, Military UK, AfC (NHS) England only, Drs and Dentists England only, Senior Military UK, Senior Civil Service England & Wales,
Very Senior Managers (NHS) England only, Judiciary UK

4.   Teachers' pay is set according to the academic year, as opposed to the financial year, and the Teachers' Pay Review Body is expected to report back by the end of May.
5.   This is the first year of the National Crime Agency PRB who are still currently in the process of compiling their first report.
6.   This announcement does not include police and Local Government workforces, who are not covered by Pay Review Bodies. Police officer pay is determined by the Police Negotiating Board and the Home Secretary. Local Government workers' pay remains a matter for Local Authorities and the National Joint Council.
7.   Today's announcement confirms pay awards for 2014-15 for prison officers, the armed forces, the NHS, Doctors and Dentists, senior NHS managers, Police & Crime Commissioners, Senior Civil Servants, and the judiciary.
8.   The Departments responsible for each workforce will lay Written Ministerial Statements today, setting out further details. Enquiries on specific workforces should be addressed to the relevant Department.

Non-media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Correspondence and Enquiry Unit on
020 7270 5000 or by e-mail to public.enquiries@hm-treasury.gov.uk<mailto:public.enquiries@hm-treasury.gov.uk>

Media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Press Office on 020 7270 5238.

 

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