Scrap the Cap
Scotland's health workers are calling on the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) to 'scrap the cap' imposed on NHS staff.
In an open letter sent to the PRB, UNISON expressed the anger and disappointment of NHS staff at its recommendation to continue with a one percent cap on wages. This is the fourth consecutive year that the PRB have imposed real terms pay cuts upon dedicated, hardworking NHS staff and their families.
Matt McLaughlin, UNISON Scotland's head of health, said: 'UNISON is Scotland's largest health union and we see firsthand the impact of the pay cap on health staff. NHS staff have suffered a pay cap for the past four years and in that time have seen their take-home pay fall by a massive 14 percent.
The sad reality is that hospitals will struggle to keep skilled workers unless they're rewarded with decent pay and its patients who will suffer as a result. Our NHS depends on having a dedicated team of staff with the right training to deliver the best standard of care.'
UNISON has criticised the PRB for choosing to endorse the Westminster Government's austerity agenda. The union is calling for a firm commitment from the PRB to deliver fair pay for NHS staff and not to be bound by the government-imposed pay cap.
UNISON members and activists will meet at the Scottish Parliament to 'Smash the Pay Freeze' with a giant ice sculpture and will invite Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Shona Robison MSP, to join them.
Tam Waterson, chair of UNISON Scotland's health committee, said: 'UNISON will continue to call for the NHS pay review to scrap the cap on pay for all NHS workers. Our members are at breaking point; whether it's our low-paid members working extra jobs or our professional members relying on bank work as the gap grows between take home pay and household costs.
Hard-working, dedicated NHS workers tell us time and again how they love working in the health service but are struggling to make ends meet - no matter how hard they work. It's time to smash the pay freeze.'
NHS Highland Quality and Sustainability Plan (extract) - staff:
Box3c What will implementation of the Quality and Sustainability plan mean in practice for staff?
While Box 2 sets out the case for change in general, here we summarise some of our commitments around what staff can expect in terms of a process to support them through change. The approach is underpinned by our People Strategy: To make NHS Highland the employer of choice and to ensure that staff are proud of their contribution to deliver safe and effective care. In addition to principles set out in Staff Governance
Standards, staff can expect:
1. To be supported to do their job and change their job recognising that more of the same approach is not an option
2. A move away from current ways of inefficient working with greater use of technology and flexibility
3. Opportunities to put forward ideas about how work is organised and carried out within your team and area. As well contributing to our Quality & Sustainability Plan
4. Be involved and trained in quality improvement including tests of change and evaluation of outcomes
5. To embrace daily management and take personal responsibility to make best use of all resources including time
6. To engage in an open and flexible manner
7. Information about why changes are required and how any change process will be managed with timescales
8. Details of any implications for individuals and teams (job roles, location, hours of work, training required, and so on)
9. Advice and support from staff side (trade union) who will also be expected to work in partnership with management
10. No compulsory or voluntary redundancy
'It is vital that NHS Highland staff, trade unions and management work hand-in-hand together to help transform healthcare delivery to ensure we are 'fit for purpose' in the future.'
NHS Highland Workforce - we're getting younger!
Interesting snippet - contrary to trends over the last few years, the NHS Highland (NHSH) workforce is (on average) now getting younger! What do we mean by this - well in 2014, the average age of a member of staff in NHSH was 49. It is now 46. In 2014, 54% of the workforce was aged 50 and over. Now this percentage is down to 45%. A big proportion of that change relates to staff aged 60 and over. In 2014, this group was 17% of the workforce; it is now down to 10%.
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Paid As If At Work - Raigmore
The calculations for the year 2013/14 are nearly complete, and we expect payments to be made to affected staff in July or August. We have agreed that the calculations for that year can be extrapolated to both previous and subsequent years, to enable payments to be made for all backpay due. Therefore we are close to this being tied up (subject to any individual grievances there may be if anyone feels they can demonstrate that the outcome of the calculation is detrimental).