Bristol Care Workers Network break down what the proposed NHS pay deal, being pushed by government and unions alike, really means for NHS staff and why they should vote no.
Healthcare workers have been insulted by the NHS pay deal. The offer is an affront by the Government and a mockery served up by health service unions. However they try to dress the deal up it is nothing more than a pay cut. 6.5% that will be swallowed up by inflation over the three years it covers. Some may expect to see a little more but that is generally a slight of hand and covers expected incremental rises due to staff. The lowest paid were on starvation wages and this rise will just drag their pay up but not above poverty levels. This mediocre rise will not match income lost to austerity for the lowest paid or anyone else.
Another kick in the teeth is in the finer print. The introduction of performance related pay will lead to higher levels of stress, bullying and victimisation. Step out of line and lose those pay increases. Other threats also loom large. Inside the deal lower paid staff will see their terms and conditions slashed. Sick pay on unsocial hours shifts will go. So if you are sick on a run of nights the amount you get in your pay packet that month will be reduced. Then the unsocial hours payments themselves will be cut. Any gains seen in hourly rates will be clawed back from those who do shift work.
We have all lost thousands over the last eight years of pay restraint. We cannot forget that we have seen living standards fall as we paid the cost of enforced austerity. Money snatched from us has ended up in the pockets of the already mega-wealthy. We only saw an end of the pay freeze by going on strike in 2014. Will have to do the same again to achieve anything like a meaningful pay rise.
The Governments agenda hasn’t changed one bit. A background of Trusts themselves pushing backdoor privatisation and setting up their own companies to dodge taxes and drive down wages of the lowest paid staff. Other services will be outright privatised and pay cut.
The whole deal is based on falsehoods and lies. So the only path we can take is to vote no!
Reposted from the Bristol Care Workers Network website.