The Unite union has rejected proposals to change the national Agenda for Change agreement on health workers’ pay and conditions.
Unison and the Royal College of Nursing have consulted their members on the proposals, but are yet to declare their position. Results from a joint union survey on the attack are due out in September.
The attack would see NHS workers lose the right to automatic pay increments and instead be subject to “locally determined performance standards”. Sickness pay would be slashed and unsocial hours pay would end.
Already 19 trusts in the South West have formed a “cartel” to force through the attack and use NHS workers in this region as a test case. If this is not resisted there will be attempts to roll out the attack in trusts across Britain.
A warning on pensions
There are moves to make it possible for NHS workers who are transferred into the private sector to remain in the NHS pension scheme. Unions have supported the expected changes.
All workers should have decent pensions. But in the context of massive privatisation of NHS services, this could have wider implications. Transfers to the private sector will break up the NHS and open the door to more attacks.