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CSP welcomes Wales, Scotland government backing of UK-wide pay

6 March 2012 - 10:21am

Existing UK-wide pay bargaining has been backed by the devolved administrations of Wales and Scotland.

Health ministers Lesley Griffiths and Nicola Sturgeon have written to the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB), stating that they do not ‘favour’ nor see the ‘merit’ in Westminster government proposals for the PRB to consider the introduction of ‘market-facing’ pay mechanisms in the NHS.

The CSP and other health unions are currently finalising a submission to the NHSPRB on this matter, arguing that a move away from Agenda for Change was tried and failed in the NHS in the 1990s, in large part because localised pay determination was expensive and bureaucratic to administer.

Failed in the past

The CSP welcomed the stance taken by the Scottish and Welsh governments.

‘There is no robust evidence to suggest that local or regional pay will work now when it failed in the past, nor that it will have wider benefits,' said Union Services and Employment Relations assistant director Peter Finch.

‘To the contrary, driving down pay rates in poorer areas of the country will only further weaken already depressed economies and their struggling communities.

‘Any move away from Agenda for Change will waste the valuable time of both individual health boards and clinical staff,' said Mr Finch.

Huge distraction

'It will further demoralise staff who face four years of pay frozen or capped below-inflation at 1%. It will be another huge distraction the NHS can ill-afford at a time of huge financial challenges.

‘Most major employers, including large private multinational companies, operate national pay structures. A UK-wide pay system is the fairest and most transparent way of rewarding hard-working, dedicated professional NHS staff delivering quality services to their patients.’

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