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‘Unfair’ to make CSP members in the NHS sacrifice pay increase, says society

7 October 2013 - 2:59pm

The CSP has condemned evidence to the NHS pay review body (PRB) proposing a delay in any pay rise until there has been further reform of the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system.

The Department of Health argues in its evidence that pay restraint in England is a key part of delivering quality care. It states that the system of pay progression is ‘antiquated’ and ‘unfair’. The department wants to see further changes to terms and conditions as a precursor to any increase in pay.

The move, announced last week, comes as NHS Employers in England argue in their evidence to the PRB that any increase in basic pay should take account that many staff will receive increments. The employers say that any award should ‘facilitate further reform of national terms and conditions’.

Since June 2009, inflation as measured by the retail price index has increased by 16 per cent, while pay increases for senior NHS managers have gone up by 16.4 per cent, but only by 7.7 per cent on average for all NHS staff, according to analysis for Health Service Journal.

Peter Finch, assistant director, for CSP’s Employment Relations and Union Services, condemned the announcement: ‘This further interference in the independence of the PRB is unprecedented.

‘It is also extremely unfair to declare that CSP members, who have endured real pay cuts for the past three years, as well as increases to their pension contributions, make further sacrifices in their pay, terms and conditions.

‘The NHS and its staff are under immense pressure as they strive to maintain quality, safe, services while delivering £20 billion of budget cuts amid wholesale top down reorganisation of the NHS. The government should stop insulting their skills and dedication.’

Changes to AfC in England that tied incremental rises more tightly to performance were agreed in April after complex negotiations and consultations with union members.

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