NHS workers to face pay cut to make savings

Toby Meredith (Media Porduction Manager, University of Portsmouth), Liz Hawes (Research Nurse, Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust), and Simon Toh (Consultant Surgeon, Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust)

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CARE workers in the south face taking a pay cut in order to stop jobs from being cut.

TQtwentyone is a care division, which has more than 1,500 people working for it, is run by Southern Health NHS Trust.

Staff look after people with learning difficulties across Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Dorset, and it is funded by a range of local authorities.

This includes Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council.

The trust is looking to cut pay for ‘unsocial hours’ worked.

So while basic pay will be given, money will not be paid for working weekends or sleeping over.

The trust said this is due to less funding being given by commissioners.

Debbie Robinson, director of the social care division, said: ‘TQtwentyone cares passionately about providing high quality services for the people we support.

‘Unfortunately we find ourselves in a situation where our income doesn’t match our expenditure and that poses a serious risk to the sustainability of our service.

‘Ensuring the people who rely on our services continue to receive the best quality care is our top priority, and in order to continue doing so we have proposed changes to our staff terms and conditions.

‘It is important to note our proposed changes only relate to payments for unsocial hours worked. Basic pay remains unchanged or in some cases has increased.

‘We are working closely with our trade union colleagues to limit the impact on staff to ensure we get the best possible outcome for all those affected.

‘Staff are being fully supported throughout this.’

A consultation, which ends in June, is taking place about the proposed changes.

If enforced, up to 240 workers would lose more than £3,600 a year, up to 500 would lose £1,200 a year and more than 100 would see a £1,000 cut.

This would amount to about £3m of savings for the NHS trust.

Mike Wilson, Unison spokesman, described the situation as ‘not tolerable’.

He said: ‘While we understand where this is coming from, it is not a tolerable situation.

‘The lowest-paid workers will be most affected.’

The union said it will wait to see what decision is made before acting.