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1 July 2004

Pay modernisation for consultants = an average of £24,000 per annum pay, Modernisation for nurses and other NHS staff = an average of £250 per annum claims UNISON

Scotland's largest healthcare union, UNISON today condemned the Government's pay modernisation strategy as inept, devisive and unacceptable.

Speaking in advance of UNISON's Agenda for Change recall Conference in Stirling, Jim Devine, UNISON's Scottish Organiser of Health said "The Government's NHS Pay Modernisation Strategy is inept, divisive and totally unacceptable. UNISON have been monitoring the impact of pay modernisation in the NHS on consultants and other NHS Staff.

"We know from work carried out in Lothian that almost 1 in 3 nurses, domestics, and admin and clerical staff will lose as a result of Agenda for Change.

"Health Boards are presently allocating resources to fund the new pay modernisation deals. On Wednesday of this week the Acute Division of Tayside Health Board discussed the implementation of pay modernisation in this financial year.

"Tayside report that to fund the pay increase of 258 consultants, it will cost the Health Board £6.176 millions, an average rise of nearly £24,000 per annum per consultant. Worryingly, to fund increases for 7,057 nurses, domestics, admin and clerical and lab staff, they have set aside £1.760 millions, or an average of £250 per annum. £5 per week to implement Agenda for Change! These figures are similar in other Scottish Health Boards.

"While the Government may argue that the money set aside for Agenda for Change only covers 6 months of the financial year, this pay differential is not only obscene but is divisive and is having a major impact on working relationships in hospital wards and departments throughout Scotland. The NHS boasts about being an exemplary employer. They claim that all staff should be treated the same. Clearly that is not the case when it comes to pay and that is why at today's Conference we will be finalising our submissions to amend the Government's proposals."


NOTE for Editors: The Conference will be held in the Stirling Business Centre, Stirling Royal Infirmary, Stirling starting at 10.30 am. Jim Devine and other health service workers will be available for interview

Further information contact Jim Devine on: 07876-441239




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