14 NHS workers’ unions boycott ‘non-independent’ review body

Fourteen trades unions representing more than 1million nurses, ambulance staff, porters, healthcare assistants, physiotherapists and others working in the NHS in England, have today announced that they are withdrawing from the NHS Pay Review Body process.

Pay not claps: the Royal College of Nursing is one of the 14 unions representing workers in the NHS who have been denied decent pay settlements by the Tory government

One union leader has described the board as “a smokescreen which has allowed government to drive the NHS to the point of collapse”, claiming that the NHSPRB is not independent of government and can’t take decisions on pay.

“So what is the point of it?” Sharon Graham, the General Secretary of the Unite union, said today.

The 14 unions made a joint declaration this morning of their withdrawal from the NHSPRB process for the next round of pay negotiations for 2023-2024. Some unions were still in negotiations yesterday for 2022, without any agreement.

The health unions say that they won’t be submitting evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body while current disputes remain unresolved.

The unions have declared that they want to cut out the middleman (or woman), and go to direct pay talks with government ministers and relevant NHS Employers. However this leaves the future of the Pay Review Body unresolved beyond 2023-2024.

In a statement issued this morning by Unite, they said that the NHS Pay Review Body “is no longer fit for purpose and should be abolished”.

Prime Minister’s stooge: Philippa Hird was appointed by No10 Downing Street

Graham said, “The NHS Pay Review Body is long past its sell-by date. It’s no longer independent of government and it doesn’t have powers to make major decisions about pay. So what is the point of it?

“The fact of the matter is the NHSPRB has presided over more than a decade of real wage cuts for almost all NHS staff. It has been a smokescreen which has allowed government to drive the NHS to the point of collapse.”

The NHSPRB’s chair – Philippa Hird – was appointed by the Prime Minister and the remaining seven board members were all appointed by the health minister.

The government also sets a strict level that the body must base its decision on before the pay review process even starts. Unite believes that years of this system are responsible for the exodus of large numbers of staff that has created the crisis engulfing the NHS.

“What has happened to the NHS is a tragedy,” Graham said.

“And the NHSPRB has been a willing partner in working to the government’s pay cuts agenda. It’s a total farce.

“The only way the current impasse can be resolved is for government to enter into direct negotiations with the unions involved. That should be a precursor for the total scrapping of the NHSPRB and the formation of a new system of direct national negotiations between the government and unions.”

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1 Response to 14 NHS workers’ unions boycott ‘non-independent’ review body

  1. Phil Erup says:

    Perhaps NHSPRB’s outputs should be compared with IPSA’s?

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