Hitting NHS staff salaries is no way to build a sustainable future for the health service, Unite, the country’s largest union in the country, said today (Tuesday 19 March).
Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said that reducing health workers’ living standards had been shown to be a “flawed, short-sighted and dogmatic” policy in a new report from MPs.
Unite welcomed the health select committee’s report, Public Expenditure on Health and Care Services, which criticised the so-called Nicholson Challenge to squeeze £20bn of savings from the NHS during the course of this parliament as “short-term fixes”.
Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “It is refreshing that MPs on the committee have recognised that hitting staff pay is not the way forward in building a progressive health service. It has been shown to be flawed, short-sighted and ideologically-driven.
“The implicit underlying message here is that privatisation of the NHS, which is predicated on relentlessly driving down employment costs, is a dangerous road to go down.
"MPs heard that under-spending of budgets has been common practice in the NHS under the present regime of NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson – this is a crazy policy to follow when demand for services is growing. If the money is there, it should be invested in improving the quality of health services and not sat upon by NHS bureaucrats.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.