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Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Wed 25 February 2004

NHS pay modernisation faces rejection unless repackaged

UNISON, Scotland's largest health care union, today (Wednesday), warned the Scottish Executive that health service workers in Scotland could reject pay modernisation proposals for NHS staff unless they are repackaged.

Speaking at a meeting of health service workers in the Western Isles, Jim Devine, Scottish Organiser for Health, said: "Nearly 120,000 nurses, ancillary, admin & clerical and other NHS workers will be affected by the Government's pay modernisation proposals, known as Agenda for Change. This will be the most radical change in determining pay and conditions for NHS staff since the creation of the National Health Service in 1948. Therefore it is important that we get it right. Unfortunately, as it is presently packaged, UNISON members in Scotland could reject these proposals because they do not meet the aspirations of our members, especially at a time when NHS Consultants are receiving increases of between 25%-30%."

"Firstly, it is estimated that up to 30% of staff in Scotland could actually lose money as a result of this scheme. Some payroll managers, for example, presently earn around £40,000 per year. Under Agenda for Change the maximum that these staff will earn is £22,700. Secondly, while staff would have their salaries protected under the new proposals, it will only be for one year. Thirdly, overtime, weekend and night duty allowances are being reduced. This will mean that nurses working on nightshift presently earning an enhancement rate of one third will see that reduced to one quarter."

"Although there are many positive aspects of Agenda for Change, the Scottish Health Committee of UNISON cannot support a scheme that sees even one NHS worker lose financially. UNISON will ballot our members on the Government's proposals in the autumn. In the meantime, it is important that we continue the dialogue and repackage those parts of Agenda for Change that are presently unacceptable to our members."


For Further Information Please Contact: Jim Devine, Scottish Organiser 0845 355 0845(w) 07876 441239(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)




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