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CSP calls for fair pay for physiotherapy staff

24 September 2013 - 5:06pm

The CSP and other health unions are calling for a ‘fair’ pay settlement for NHS staff.

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Peter Finch: 'A five-year real terms wage cut is not right and it is not fair.'

In their submission to the NHS pay review body today, unions highlight how pay for more than one million dedicated public servants is failing to keep pace with inflation, leaving many NHS staff struggling to keep their heads above water financially.

NHS physiotherapy staff have not had a real-term pay increase since 2006, the evidence showed.

The Coalition government imposed a two-year pay freeze in the NHS from 2011, and announced earlier this year that pay would be capped at one per cent for the following three years to 2016.

The continuing NHS pay cap will mean that by 2014, NHS staff will have suffered a real-terms pay cut of between eight and 12 per cent at a time when continued reorganisation and staff cuts make their jobs increasingly stressful, according to the joint evidence.

Loss in pay

In a recent CSP survey, in which more than 3000 members responded, 82 per cent of NHS physiotherapy staff said they felt pay levels relative to the cost of living had made them worse off over the past 12 months, while 77 per cent felt their household finances had deteriorated.

And 66 per cent of physiotherapists and physiotherapy support workers said morale and motivation had declined over the past 12 months, thanks to the falling value of take-home pay, as well as an increase in workplace stress and dissatisfaction with the quality of care physiotherapy staff felt able to provide.

Peter Finch, CSP assistant director, employment relations and union services said: ‘A five-year real terms wage cut is not right and it is not fair. It is hitting morale and motivation during the most challenging time the NHS has ever faced.

‘Physiotherapy staff are increasingly over-worked and stressed out.’

The CSP will be meeting with members of the PRB later this year to discuss its evidence.

The evidence relating to physiotherapy staff also shows:

  • 86 per cent said staff shortages have occurred over the past year with 60 per cent saying this occurred frequently
  • NHS workplaces/departments have responded to the financial challenges by cutting services, freezing recruitment and cutting staff numbers, including senior and specialist clinical posts
  • Individual workloads have increased over the past year for 87 per cent, with additional duties and responsibilities and pressures on staffing from insufficient sickness, maternity or holiday cover to unfilled vacant posts
  • 98 per cent worked more than their contracted hours, with 63% saying these extra hours were all unpaid

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