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Former Dynasty star highlights UNISON’s Pay Up Now! campaign

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by James M.
Former Dynasty star highlights UNISON’s Pay Up Now! campaign

UNISON has released a satirical video featuring former dynasty star Stephanie Beacham looking at the Government attitude towards scrapping the pay cap.

A new UNISON film, featuring former Dynasty actor Stephanie Beacham, takes a tongue-in-cheek look at why the government should give teaching assistants, paramedics, refuse collectors and other public service workers a pay rise.

The two-minute satirical Pat on the Back film highlights the government’s hypocritical attitude to public servants – commending their dedication and hard work, yet refusing to lift the public sector pay cap, says UNISON.

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But behind UNISON’s spoof film is a serious message. Low pay not only harms individual employees and their families, it means services are run down as staff desert the public sector in search of higher wages.

Stephanie Beacham said:

“I wanted to do this film because I find it deeply unacceptable that public service staff who keep us safe, look after us when we’re ill and keep our local services running haven’t seen a pay rise in seven years.

“Our public service workers deserve more than a measly pat on the back, they need substantially more money in their pockets. The public sector pay cap has to go now, and be replaced with a decent wage.”

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“Giving public service workers a pat on the back isn’t going to put food on their table, petrol in their cars or pay their bills.

“Government ministers have been quick to praise public servants, but slow to appreciate the financial strain their harsh pay policies are putting on households up and down the country.

“In the Budget, the Chancellor needs to dig deep and give public service staff a pay rise that more than matches the rising cost of living.”

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News

Nurses have voted 'overwhelmingly' to accept the NHS pay deal

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by Matt Bodell.
Nurses have voted 'overwhelmingly' to accept the NHS pay deal

The NHS pay deal has been accepted by the trade unions representing healthcare workers.

Since March, 14 unions have been asking NHS staff whether they want to accept or reject the proposed pay rise, which would mean a 6.5% increase over three years for over a million hospital cleaners, nurses, security guards, physiotherapists, emergency call handlers, paramedics, midwives, radiographers and other NHS staff across England.

With the results of these consultation exercises and online ballots now in, unions announced at a meeting today that health workers have voted overwhelmingly to accept the deal.

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The Results: 77% of Royal College of Nursing members (39,863 members* took part in the consultation) and an astounding 84% of Unison members (83,500 members, around 30% of members eligible to vote, took part in the consultation) backed the deal. The GMB is the only healthcare union to reject the pay deal.

What happens now? The deal will be formally approved at a meeting of NHS trade unions on 27 June. NHS staff should now get the money in their July pay packets, backdated from April. You take a look at the new agenda for change pay structure here.

The devolved healthcare system in Scotland and Wales can now start to establish a deal based on this information.

'The issue of NHS pay has been put to bed'.

Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “After today, the Government cannot assume that the thorny issue of NHS pay has been put to bed. This deal marks a step in the right direction but the bigger leap to truly fair pay still needs to be taken. It does give a genuine pay rise to over one million people from next month and that cannot be underestimated in challenging economic times.

“Ministers knew that the public were behind our members when they turned up the heat last year. Today’s deal would not have been reached without the campaigning efforts of tens of thousands of nursing staff last year and we thank the public for the support shown.

“But I want to reassure those members who did not support this particular deal that their views are respected and their arguments have been heard by the College. They can be assured that this is by no means the end of our campaigning for fair pay and their contribution to that cause will remain invaluable.

“We will turn our campaigning fire on getting this pay rise extended to nursing staff in other parts of the NHS and social care too. The care sector already suffers from high staff turnover and so pay must be boosted there too if we are to prevent a nursing exodus for better paid jobs in hospitals and the community.”  

It won't solve NHS problems overnight.

Sara Gorton, Lead Health Union Negotiator and UNISON head of health, said: “The agreement won’t solve all the NHS’ problems overnight, but it will go a long way towards easing the financial strain suffered by health staff and their families over many years.

“The lifting of the damaging one per cent cap on pay will come as a huge relief for all the employers who’ve struggled for so long to attract new recruits and hold onto experienced staff.

“But this three year pay deal must not be a one off. Health workers will want to know that ministers are committed to decent wage rises across the NHS for the long term, and that this isn’t just a quick fix.

“Most importantly the extra funding means the pay rise won’t be at the expense of services or patient care. Now the government has begun to put right the damage inflicted by its mean-spirited pay policies, staff will be hoping ministers announce an injection of cash for NHS services in time for its 70th birthday next month.”


*We contacted the RCN to clarify the percent of eligible nurses who took part in the consultation but they opted not to release this information.

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Majority of healthcare workers unaware of vote on NHS pay

Nearly eighty percent of NHS workers are unaware of the vote and many have chosen not to vote because they find the deal “confusing”.

Published on

by Matt Bodell.
Majority of healthcare workers unaware of vote on NHS pay

A survey has revealed that the majority of healthcare workers in England are unaware of the vote on NHS pay.

A survey completed by NursingNotes has revealed that nearly eighty percent of healthcare workers are unaware of the need to vote on the proposed NHS pay deal and many have chosen not to vote because they find the deal "confusing".

The pay deal includes significant changes to the agenda for change pay structure which will affect the majority of healthcare workers.

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The survey of 638 healthcare workers in England revealed that 76% of NHS staff are unaware of the need to vote over the proposed NHS pay deal and, shockingly, only 61% of those that are aware have exercised their right to vote.

The deal is difficult to understand

Three-quarters of respondents said they found the deal difficult to understand with 28% of these citing this as the sole reason for not voting.

A massive 91% of respondents said they had received no formal communication from their union over the proposed NHS pay deal.

The question has to be asked if healthcare unions have acted appropriately in seeking the views of its members and setting out the pay deal in a way staff can understand.

Time to vote is running out.

NHS staff who are a member of either the Royal College of Nursing or UNISON have until the 5th of June to voice their opinions over the NHS pay deal.

When we contacted the Royal College of Nursing about the rumoured poor turnout and lack of awareness around the vote a spokesperson said: “Voting is still ongoing and we will announce the result when the poll closes in June.”

The Royal College of Nursing has previously said it would investigate claims of misrepresenting the NHS Pay Deal to its membership.

UNISON did not respond to our request for comment.

About voting...

Can I vote? To be eligible to vote you must be an NHS employee in England and hold an active membership to one of the healthcare unions.

Should I vote? Absolutely, a union is only as powerful as its membership. This is a democratic process that involves you and your future.

How should I vote? We cannot tell you how you should vote, you should weigh up your individual circumstances. You can take a look at the proposed Agenda for Change pay scales or use the pay calculator to find out the effect the rise would have on your salary. But, we encourage you to do your own research.

How to vote: Member can vote on the Royal College of Nursing or Unison sites. If you are a member of a different union you should contact them to find out how to vote. 

How long do I have to vote? Voting closes on Tuesday 5th of June 2018.

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Unison

Unison start balloting members over proposed pay deal

Published on

by Sarah J.
Unison start balloting members over proposed pay deal

Unison has started to balloting members over the proposed NHS pay deal.

Unison has started to ask its members in England if the union should accept the first "significant pay rise" in 7 years.

All healthcare unions involved in the negotiations, with the exception of GMB, have recommended their members accept the pay deal. However, many have raised concerns over a further sub-inflation rise, changes to unsociable hours payments for ambulance and support staff, removal of agenda for change sick enhancements and changes to the incrementation system.

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Can I vote? To be eligible to vote you must hold an active Unison membership and be employed by an NHS trust in England.

Should I vote? Absolutely, a union is only as powerful as its membership. This is a democratic process that involves you and your future.

How should I vote? We cannot tell you how you should vote, you should weigh up your individual circumstances. You can take a look at the proposed Agenda for Change pay scales or use the pay calculator to find out the effect the rise would have on your salary. But, we encourage you to do your own research.

How to vote: Eligible members can vote here.

It says I am not eligible. You should contact Unison directly on 0800 0857857 as soon as possible.


Sara Gorton, UNISON head of health, said about the proposed pay deal: “Seven years of pay freezes and wage increases well below the cost of living have meant significant financial hardship for health staff and their families. It’s also created headaches for employers as they struggled to attract new recruits and hold onto experienced staff.

“The agreement means an end at last to the government’s self-defeating and unfair one per cent pay cap. It won’t solve every problem in the NHS, but would go a long way towards making dedicated health staff feel more valued, lift flagging morale, and help turn the tide on employers’ staffing problems.

“If health workers accept the offer, everyone’s wages will go further, and the lowest paid would get a significant income boost. Starting salaries for nurses, midwives and other health professionals would also become more attractive to people considering a career in the NHS.”

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