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Unison denies it told members they would all receive a 3% pay rise

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Unison
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Unison has claimed it didn’t make the same mistakes as the Royal College of Nursing.

The second largest healthcare union, UNISON, has today made a statement on social media claiming that the information it provided to members “clearly differentiated between what would happen to staff at the top of bands and those below.”

Earlier this week, Janet Davies, Chief Executive and Registrar of the Royal College of Nursing, wrote to members to apologise after staff failed to receive the 3% increase that was promised by the union but UNISON denies it made any similar claims.

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‘3% in April 2018’.

An article posted on their website states; “For health workers already at the top of their band, most would get 6.5% between April 2018 and April 2020. All but the very highest paid staff would get 3% in April 2018, 1.7% and a 1.1% lump sum in April 2019, and 1.7% from April 2020. All but the very highest paid staff would get 3% in April 2018, 1.7% and a 1.1% lump sum in April 2019, and 1.7% from April 2020.” but the union failed to stipulate in any article what others could expect to see.

The  NHS pay calculator, the controversial tool unions directed members to in order to make a decision about the pay offer, failed to differentiate between pay awards, reform, and incremental progression and did not provide dates.

In another article UNISON states; “NHS staff should now get the money in their July pay packets, backdated from April.”, however, NHS Employers has confirmed this was never the plan.

Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers, said: “The position of NHS Employers has always been that staff will be assimilated and paid on the new pay structure in July, and backpay will be paid from August, subject to local payroll arrangements. I can only apologise for any confusion there has been.”

‘It was a complex deal’.

In a statement UNISON said; “UNISON members may have seen that the RCN has apologised to its members for some of its communication around the NHS pay deal for staff in England.

This is a complex three year pay deal for NHS staff that combines a cost of living pay rise with major structural reform of the NHS pay system in England.

UNISON material, and that produced jointly by the NHS health unions, clearly differentiated between what would happen to staff at the top of bands and those below.

Unfortunately this appears not to have been the case in the information that the RCN produced for their members. Their material apparently does not accurately reflect the deal that was negotiated and that we consulted our members on.

We explained to UNISON members that those at the top of their pay band (over 50% of NHS staff) would receive a 3% pay increase backdated to 1 April 2018.

For all other NHS staff, we explained that timings and amounts of pay increases would depend on individual circumstances, including individual incremental dates.

The complexity of this deal was the reason we referred people to our pay calculator so they could see what the deal meant for them.

UNISON’s priority was to get as much money for as many people as possible. It was to ensure that, over three years, the deal will result in everyone being better off than they would have been under the old increments and a 1% pay increase. Now we need to work hard to ensure that is implemented properly. This is so that our members get what they are entitled to and what they voted for.”

Workforce

Nursing vacancies hit record high leaving patient care at risk

It can be “dangerous” when there aren’t enough nurses to provide care.

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Patient Falls Risk with IV

There are now a record 43,671 empty nursing posts in the NHS in England alone.

NHS figures show that there are now a record 43,671 empty nursing posts in the NHS in England alone, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

The College says a global shortage of nurses alongside the removal of the nursing bursary has compounded this figure which now sees 12% of posts through the NHS in England without a full-time Registered Nurse.

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Figures from the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) show a 29% overall decline in applications to undergraduate courses since 2015, when the bursary was cut by the Government.

In a report released today titled ‘Standing up for patient and public safety’, the Royal College of Nursing outlines the evidence of the need for a new law that allocates specific legal responsibilities for workforce planning and supply.

A new law is needed.

The report states that in order to address the record number of vacancies, and the gap between the numbers of health and care staff needed to deliver patient care vs. how many are in the system.

Figures included in the report reveal that the number of nursing staff has consistently failed to keep up with the dramatic rise in demand for services and the number of emergency admissions.

The report finally makes a further call for legal clarity on the roles, responsibilities, as well as accountabilities, for workforce planning and supply.

In September, after pressure from RCN members, NHS England and NHS Improvement asked the Government for clarity over who is accountable for the nursing workforce.

‘Nurses are working harder than ever’.

Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said: “Nurses are working harder than ever to deliver safe patient care but are being held back by a system that is legally lacking teeth. Despite the public, patients and nurses all agreeing that clarity is needed on responsibilities for delivering enough nurses, we have yet to see any government pledge anything of the like, and as a result are staring down the barrel at a record 43k empty nursing posts.

“We know how dangerous it can be when there aren’t enough nurses to provide care, but at present, almost all accountability rests with the frontline nurse working on the understaffed ward, rather than those responsible for the system they work in.

“We believe the time has come for change and that patient care was future-proofed by law, and that from the government down, decision makers are held to account.

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Workforce

NHS calls for clarity on who is accountable for the nursing workforce

Figures suggest there are around 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies throughout the NHS in England.

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Working nurses in the CCU

Healthcare leaders are calling for legislation to be included in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have called on the Government to clarify who is accountable for the nursing workforce and the chronic problems it’s currently facing.

Following ongoing pressure from nursing unions, the two organisations met today and recommend that the government should “revisit with partners whether national responsibilities and duties in relation to workforce functions are sufficiently clear.”

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With around 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies in the NHS in England and thousands more throughout social care, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) believes the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care should be legally accountable for the workforce.

Along with other health care leaders, Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN, written to the Government calling for the legislation proposed by NHS England and NHS Improvement to be included in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech.

Staff shortages have reached ‘alarming levels’.

Responding to the news, Dame Donna Kinnair said: “We are pleased that NHS England and NHS Improvement has recognised the concerns of RCN members and the public and has stated that the issue of accountability for workforce planning and supply remains an area that needs be resolved.”

“In the week after we have launched a major public facing campaign calling for investment in the nursing workforce as well as for accountability to be clarified in the law, yet again, the case is made for this to be taken seriously.

“We are clear that government is well placed to determine how accountability can be clarified in law.

Adding; “Staff shortages have reached alarming levels with at least 40,000 vacant registered nurse posts in the NHS in England alone with thousands more vacancies in public health and social care.

“We now hope government will listen to this message, as well as the voices of the thousands of members that responded to the NHS England engagement process, and bring forward this legislation, taking the opportunity to include accountability in government and throughout the health and care system, for workforce planning and supply.”

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