Date: Thurs 11 April
Scottish Health Secretary to speak at UNISON health conference
Alex Neil, Scottish Health Secretary, is a keynote speaker at
UNISON Scotland's health conference in Glasgow tomorrow (Friday
Pay and pensions are key issues he will be quizzed on at the
Glasgow event, which will also hear from UNISON's head of health
Willie Duffy, UNISON Scotland lead organiser for Health, said
NHS members are feeling angry about pensions increases.
"We have raised our concerns with the Cabinet Secretary
about the increase in NHS pension contributions," he said.
"The Scottish Government could make different choices and
health workers will want to know from him why they should be
paying more when they have effectively had pay cuts for the last
couple of years. We are calling on the Scottish Government not
to bring in the third year of the increase next year, and pay
for this with the efficiency savings made by employers."
Tom Waterson, chair of UNISON Scotland's Health Committee, said
that other key issues will be concerns about health and social
care integration and a call to scrap the NHS Pay Review Body.
He said: "The Scottish Health Committee wants a return
to collective bargaining directly with the UK government on NHS
pay. The PRB is a busted flush. It is certainly not independent.
"The UK Government's deplorable actions have negated its historical
independent role. We will be asking the UNISON UK Health Conference
taking place in Glasgow later this month to agree to negotiate
NHS pay on this basis."
Notes to editors:
1. UNISON is Scotland's largest trade union representing 160,000
members working in the public sector.
2. More than 100 delegates from around Scotland will attend
tomorrow's health conference at the Marriott Hotel, Glasgow.
The conference starts at 11am, with Alex Neil speaking at 11.30am.
3. Reporters and photographers are invited to attend the health
conference, where Willie Duffy, Tom Waterson and Christina McAnea
will be available for interview. Please let Fiona Montgomery
know in advance if you wish to attend. 07508 877000 or email
4. UNISON Scotland's submission to the Scottish Government consultation
on increasing employee contributions to NHS pensions is at www.unison-scotland.org.uk/response/NHSPSScotConsultationResponse.pdf
5. UNISON's UK Health Care Service Group Conference takes place
from 22-24 April at the SECC, Glasgow.