South West Patients at Risk because of Pay Cartel Claims UNISON

UNISON has condemned plans by the newly formed South West ‘Cartel’ to slash the pay of National Health staff working throughout the region by 15%, which it claims will have severe impact on patient care and the local economy.

The UNISON South West Regional Health Service Group Executive met yesterday, Thursday 31 May.  The cartel’s plans to slash health service staff’s terms and conditions and their pay by 15% was condemned by the committee.  The union claims that this will have a significant impact on health services across the region and that the economy will suffer significantly as wages are driven down and skilled health workers will be forced to leave.

Sue Orwin, the Committee’s Chair, said:

“UNISON is concerned at the detrimental impact these proposals will have on patient care.  The document produced by the cartel recognised that engaged and motivated staff are needed to improve health services, yet at the same time they acknowledge that these proposals have a serious risk of severely reducing staff morale.  This 15% pay cut comes on top of a second year’s pay freeze for NHS staff who have already seen their take home pay reduced with increased pension contributions.

“We believe the cartel’s approach is simply a cost cutting exercise which will affect the health of NHS staff in the long term as well, not to mention the quality of services."

Sue Orwin added:

“National negotiations are currently taking place and this pay cartel undermines these.  The South West is the only region going down this route. 

“The consequences for the region will be disastrous; skilled health workers will be driven out of the region, taking money out of the local economy, deepening the healthcare postcode lottery.”



For further information contact:

Simon Newell, UNISON South West Regional Head of Health c/o 01823 285318


Sue Orwin, UNISON South West Regional Health Service Group Chair c/o 01823 285318


Issued:  Friday 1 June 2012


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