Unions reject local pay in NHS

The CSP and other health unions have told the NHS pay review body that they oppose government proposals to introduce ‘local market-facing pay’ into the health service.

In a meeting on 23 April with the pay review body to discuss the joint staff side evidence, the unions argued that local pay failed when introduced in the NHS in the 1990s. Pay should reflect what you do, not where you live, the unions stated.

Attempting to compare public and private sector pay ignores the fact the public sector has a higher proportion of skilled, professional jobs, the unions said.  

The Agenda for Change national agreement already has sufficient flexibility in areas such as high cost area supplements and recruitment and retention premiums,they added.

Peter Finch, CSP assistant director of employment relations and union services, said: ‘Local pay is unfair and inefficient. It is a recipe for a health service by postcode lottery. It didn’t work in the past and it won’t work today.

‘Given the government’s policy to restrict average pay increases to one per cent for two years after the ending of the two-year pay freeze, local pay can only be achieved by reducing or freezing pay further for those staff working in the north, Scotland and Wales.’

Meanwhile, the Western Mail reported that Welsh health minister Lesley Griffiths said: ‘Our stance on introducing regional pay is clear – we do not support it.’

Visit: www.csp.org.uk and put ‘pay review body’ into the search box.

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