Long battle for Band 5 pay rises ends in success

Staff at University College London hospitals have won an accelerated pay rise for band 5 staff after almost four years.

Under Agenda for Change rules, new band 5 staff should receive ‘preceptorship pay’ – a one-off increment paid after six months instead of a year.

Unions at UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust went through a formal grievance procedure against the trust for withholding this.

‘After a long-drawn out-process which included two formal hearings and some persistency from staff side, management have responded and awarded us back pay for all relevant professions,’ said CSP steward Jenny Fisher.

‘The nursing staff had been awarded back pay because they proved they had programmes in place, but the trust continued to argue that no other professions were justified in receiving this.

‘For a long time, management argued that we needed to provide evidence that  ‘preceptorship type’ programmes had always been in place and if we could prove this, the trust would pay.

‘With the help of our CSP senior negotiating officer we put together arguments to say that this was not the case and the onus was on the employer.

‘Not all professions had a representative, so we feel really positive that we have been awarded pay for not only the physiotherapists and those that were being represented, but also all other staff groups that weren’t.

‘In the current climate and financial position, when we are being told to save huge sums of money, this was a real achievement and hopefully a positive story for other physiotherapists and stewards  going through similar processes.’

CSP assistant director of employment relations and union services Claire Sullivan said: ‘It is now seven years since preceptorships should have been implemented for band 5 physios.

‘It’s a shame that UCLH didn’t implement this earlier but the final decision is the right one.’

Gary Henson

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