Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/786/17656
Attacks on NHS pay will damage services
Unison health member in Salford
Like many employees of the NHS, I reacted with horror when I heard of Jeremy Hunt's plans to scrap our promised 1% pay rise and use the money to restructure our pay.
His plan is to scrap the increments we receive every 12 months within the Agenda for Change bands.
When the public reacted with outrage at the high pay and bonuses that bankers were given we were told that this is what the taxpayer needs to spend to get the best people for the job. So why is it that the same doesn't apply to getting the best people for the job of caring for us when we are most vulnerable and saving our lives?
The aftermath of the scandal at Stafford hospital sparked a public inquiry which resulted in the Francis report being published and the Keogh report after. Both showed a need for adequate nursing staff levels within our hospitals.
Any further pay cuts to frontline staff may well put people off from going into nursing. Providing high quality care and meeting the current demands of our service users can be challenging enough.
But if staff have the added worry of not being able to meet basic bills at the end of the month due to pay freezes and cuts, will care improve? I think not.
NHS staff are financially worse off under this coalition government. There are fewer nurses now than there were in 2010.
Fewer people are enrolling on nursing degrees. Workers are having to pay more into their pensions, will have to work longer and will get less pension.
I find it truly shocking that bankers of 'nationalised' banks get pay rises and bigger bonuses while NHS workers face yet another barbaric attack on pay and conditions.
In The Socialist 30 October 2013:
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