Monday, 23rd April 2012
Commenting on Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s proposal that NHS staff receive less pay if they work in less affluent parts of the country, as part of a new regional pay structure, Jon Skewes, director of employment relations and development at the Royal College of Midwives, speaking today after giving evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body, said: “The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is committed to nationally determined pay. We believe that the current system of nationally determined pay, along with Agenda for Change, is the most transparent, fair and equitable system for the NHS. Underpinning and supporting the whole system is a robust job evaluation scheme that is fundamentally based on equal pay for equal work.
“The UK wide system is the most efficient and cost effective way to determine pay and there are current flexibilities within Agenda for Change that allow for local and regional adjustments. Moving to market facing local pay would likely lead to a reduction in pay in some areas of the country, further entrenching low pay in those areas. Moreover, if there was a move to local market facing pay this could undermine and fragment the whole structure which could result in unequal pay issues.
“It is unsurprising that the majority of respondents to the NHS Pay Review Body did not agree with the Government’s proposals for local market facing pay, including NHS Employers. The only respondents who wanted to move to local market facing pay were the Government themselves and even they said that the Pay Review Bodies should determine the most appropriate system for the workforces. Both NHS Employers and NHS Trade Unions, including the RCM, argue that the most appropriate system for the NHS is the current system of nationally determined pay as it is fair, flexible, transparent and equitable. “
For more information contact the RCM Press Office on 020 7312 3456, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
The Royal College of Midwives is the voice of midwifery. We are the UK’s only trade union and professional organisation led by midwives for midwives. The vast majority of the midwifery profession are our members. The RCM promotes midwifery, quality maternity services and professional standards. We support and represent our members individually and collectively in all four UK countries. We influence on behalf of our members and for the interests of the women and families for which they care. For more information visit the RCM website at www.rcm.org.uk.