Facts about pay

By Alice Sorby on 28 March 2018 Pay and Agenda For Change

Since the proposed pay offer and reform of Agenda for Change was announced last week social media has been awash with comments both positive, negative and some claims of inaccurate messages from the Trade Unions. Rather than ignore the Twitter storm I thought it best to try and address some of what is being said with the facts.

For a long time the government and employers have argued that the top of the pay band is not the full rate for the job. The inevitable conclusion of this would be the introduction of performance related pay, and midwives and MSWs struggling to reach the top of their pay band. They have however now conceded that the top of the band is the full rate ‎for the job, this in itself is a victory for us. The proposed agreement means that staff reach the full rate for the job more quickly and increases the value of the top of pay bands.

Currently about 50% of NHS staff are at the top of their pay band, by the end of the three years more than 85% of all current NHS staff will be at the top of their pay band. The materials that the unions have published state that the deal is worth between 9-29% for those below the top of their band. This is achieved through a combination of annual pay awards, incremental pay progression and reform of the structure.

Making the NHS a Real Living Wage employer is a real achievement and will end poverty pay with an immediate increase for staff and further increases for the lowest paid staff by the end of the three years.

As NHS employees you will know better than anyone that the current pay scales are uneven and often unfair. As it stands you could be promoted to a higher band but be paid less than colleagues on the band below. Transitioning to a new structure is complicated and it’s true that you would gain at different times over the three years.

I have had a number of members contact me about band 6, point 24.  Members at this point would receive over £4,000 (14%) over the three year period, this is not much more than they could currently expect. But going into the fourth year (2021/22) they would move to the top of band 6. This would be a year earlier than currently and the top rate would have increased by at least 6.5% as well.

The pay calculator shows what year you could expect to reach the top of the band‎ but does not include figures for year four. This is because it is not part of the proposed agreement so couldn’t be jointly agreed with employers. It would be misleading to re-use the year 3 figures as that could suggest a 0% award in 2021/22. By year four we would of course be working towards a new pay award.

Please do read the information on the RCM website and at nhspay.org to find out what the proposals really mean for you. The proposed deal is the best that has been achieved for any public sector workers including the police and local government, it breaks the Government’s pay policy of 1%.