A demand for a ‘substantial’ pay increase for 2006-2007 has been submitted by the Amicus trade union, which represents 100,000 professionals working in the NHS.
And in its submission to the Pay Review Body, Amicus highlights evidence of abuse over the job evaluation process by NHS trusts which claim they can’t afford to implement the Agenda for Change (AfC).
Amicus said that it has been reassured by government that AfC is fully funded: ‘The question of how this money has been distributed on receipt by the trusts is the key question. It would be inappropriate for AfC to be unfairly implemented if this money has been allocated to other expenditure headings or to fund other staff contracts.’
As a result of this uncertainty with members not knowing what their final salary will be under AfC, Amicus is seeking an above-the-cost of living increase for one year only.
Amicus Head of Health, Gail Cartmail said: ‘The implementation of Agenda for Change is part of a long journey towards fairness and equality for NHS employees in terms of pay and conditions. However, there are still quite a few miles to travel before these aims are achieved.’
Other points that Amicus wants the Pay Review Body to consider include:
· Amicus wants the Pay Review Body to be extended to cover professions such as cognitive behavioural therapists, counsellors, genetic counsellors, healthcare chaplains and sexual health advisors. This is because Amicus believes that the Pay Review Body is the best route to eradicate pay abuses that currently exist for these groups.
· Amicus wants the Pay Review Body to investigate the need for a recruitment and retention premia for particular occupations, and that for pharmacists and cytology screeners that should be considered as a matter of urgency for the coming year 2006-2007.
· Amicus wants a new salary index introduced to give confidence that salaries are not being eroded by regional pay flexibility. It wants High Cost (of living) Allowances (HCAs) to be paid in addition to national rates.
· The Office of Manpower Economics should oversee that the new pay scales are applied consistently across the board.
· There is sufficient money available from government for maintaining training places in light of cuts by NHS training bodies.