Health unions condemn regional “Pay Cartel”
Trades unions and professional associations that represent staff working in
NHS health organisations across the South West have joined together to
condemn plans by NHS Trusts to cut pay and terms and conditions for staff in
The Boards of sixteen South West NHS Trusts have already committed to join
the “South West Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium”, effectively a pay
cartel, committing large sums of money – including £10,000 each to join - to a
proposal that intends to cut pay and local terms and conditions by moving
away from the nationally agreed framework.
The proposal, leaked to health care unions, outlines plans that include the
employment of a Director for the consortium and use of a management
company as well as a significant time commitment for key trust management
The unions believe these resources would be better utilised on working with
staff locally to identify viable strategies for making efficiencies without risking
quality patient care.
Dorothy Fogg, Chair of the Joint Unions Health Officers Forum for the South
“This group of employers are planning to abandon nationally agreed pay and
conditions in the South West region. This is not an issue about public sector
pay; the knock on effects will have a devastating impact of the regional
economy, especially the private sector, at a time when the economy needs
strengthening not weakening.“
“Reducing pay and other terms will result in staff moving to those areas that
pay more. This will lead to already deprived areas being unable to recruit the
quality of staff needed to provide essential services to care for our most
“These employers are wrong to believe that cutting pay is the solution to
financial challenges. This scheme will divert money from patient care,
destabilise the workforce and damage the local economy.”
In Bristol today more than forty staff side representatives, representing almost
all NHS employers and social enterprises in the South West, attended a
meeting arranged to discuss this issue. They will return to their Trusts to
demand answers to a range of questions about the pay cartel. Unions across
the region are contacting all NHS employers asking for more information on
their plans to engage with the pay cartel and to formally request that they
return to working in partnership with trade unions and professional
organisations to find solutions to financial challenges.
Notes to Editors
For further information, interviews or illustrations please contact joint union
communications lead Tracey Roberts on 01392 357012 or 07841 497692,
* IDS research re local pay http://idseye.com/2012/01/17/growing-number-of-
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