Speaking today at the TUC Congress in Liverpool, Unite, the UK’s leading union, has warned that “as they stand pay review bodies are long past their sell-by date.”

Not fit for purpose 

Unite contribution in the debate about the future of the pay review bodies (PRBs) was a direct result of workers in the public sector becoming increasingly angry with a long succession of pay freezes and below inflation pay increases, recommended by the PRB’s. The increasing resentment came to a head this year in the health sector and led to strike action throughout the NHS.

Worse than useless

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The PRB process has become so corrupted that they are worse than useless. If they can’t be reformed to become genuinely independent of government they must be scrapped and replaced with genuine pay negotiations.”

Not independent 

Speaking in the debate Unite member David Agbley, a health worker, said: They (the PRBs) are clearly no longer independent of government,. What is their purpose if not complicity in holding down pay?

“Take the example of the NHS. The pay body chair is handpicked by the prime minister and the seven members are chosen by the health minister. The government rigs the rules by setting strict levels that the body must base its decision on before the process has even kicked off.

“All this amounts to is nothing more than a smokescreen to hide the government’s responsibility for the pay crisis which has engulfed our health service.”


Notes to editors

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications advisor Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.