Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/653/10937
Unison rejects NHS pay freeze
Unison's health service group executive has decided to completely reject the employers' proposal of a two year pay freeze in return for no compulsory redundancies.
Socialist Party members on the Unison health SGE, personal capacities
This deal also included a freeze on increment rises, which would effectively further cut members' pay. In return for this sacrifice the employers have offered to guarantee no compulsory redundancies and respect national pay and conditions.
In reality this deal was no more than a determination by the employers to make NHS workers pay for the financial crisis in the NHS, a position that some of the union leadership seemed to have accepted. Even worse, it was clear that with the break-up of the NHS this would have been impossible to enforce, indeed a clause in the proposal left room for individual employers to ignore any national agreement. In other words this paltry guarantee was not even worth the paper it was written on.
However, when news of the proposals emerged rank and file health workers expressed their anger and that pressure had an impact on the executive meeting. The leadership did not dare to put forward acceptance of the deal, but instead argued to continue negotiations with the employers. This position was overwhelmingly rejected by the executive. The decision was taken to throw the employers' proposals out completely.
It is clear that the employers and government are about to launch, not just an unprecedented attack on health workers' living standards but also upon the very existence of the NHS. That's why we need to build on today's positive decision and develop a national strategy to defeat the coalition government.
In The Socialist 12 January 2011:
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