Socialist Worker

Don’t let Prentis palm off piss-poor pay packet on health workers

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2613

Unison leader Dave Prentis helped draw up a below-inflation pay deal - but some workers wont even get that

Unison leader Dave Prentis helped draw up a below-inflation pay deal - but some workers won't even get that (Pic: Bank of England/Flickr)

Tens of thousands of health workers will be forced to wait up to eight months for thousands of pounds promised by the Tories and union leaders.

A recent pay deal promised a 6.5 percent pay increase across three years—3 percent in 2018-2019 and 1.7 percent in each of the two following years. This was supposed to be backdated to 1 April and included in health workers’ pay packets at the end of next month.

These promises are now unravelling. Under the NHS Agenda for Change pay scales, each pay band is divided into increments, which health workers progress up each year.

Those who have not reached the top of their pay bands will receive the pay rise in two stages. 

If a worker’s increment date was 1 April, they will get the full amount then.

But if their increment date was in March, they will only get the August 1.5 percent and the rest from their increment date. 

A band 3 health worker with a March date—on around £18,000 a year—could be up to £1,300 worse off over the next two years compared to original projections.

At least one region in the Unison union has demanded that the national leadership reopen talks over the pay deal.

More regions and branches should officially register their protest.

And the Unison leadership should join the GMB union, which is consulting its members for industrial action over pay.

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