Sunday, June 08, 2008

Health service pay - why was that then?

Our members in health have spoken – and accepted the three year pay deal worth about 8% over three years.

If inflation exceeds 8% over this period then the “reopener clause” may be explored. However the Health Secretary who might refuse to reopen pay negotiations with health workers before 2011 is strikingly similar to the Education Secretary who refused to reopen pay negotiations with teachers last year, when asked to do so.

Most likely there will be no national pay negotiations – and no overall national pay disputes – in the National Health Service until the run up to 1 April 2011. I fear that health workers may be faced with declining living standards over this period.

I’ll be interested to read the views of fellow bloggers in UNISON and beyond about the reasons for this outcome, and will look forward to discussion with health workers at Conference. The differential outcomes of the consultative ballots in different Unions are worth further thought and debate.

In the mean time we have a strike ballot to get the vote out for in local government…

Update – Gill George, a member of the UNITE NEC has some interesting things to say about what health workers should now do about their pay.


Anonymous said...

Your silence on this issue is deafening. I would have thought this acceptance of the pay offer was down to a "faliure in leadership" or "not letting branches campaign how they want" or "not giving a recommendation in the ballot."

Maybe, just maybe, those who claim all it takes is "leadership" and our members will strike at the drop of a hat, have got it wrong eh?

Anonymous said...

I have lead strike action - and yes I know how hard it is.

Of course I don't welcome what is in effect a pay cut for health workers.

But I do welcome the fact that the members have decided themselves and it is neither for you or I to tell them they are wrong. It was up to them.

My original comments were directed at those cynics who want to lay the blame for a failure of memebrs to vote for strike action as a "failure in leadership." Sometimes it is nowt to do with leadership - it is just the memebrs do not want to take strike action. And let's be honest health workers as a whole are not militant as they have the whole "care of the patients" guilt trip thrown at them - and indeed this is a self induced guilt trip for many.