Members encouraged to oppose separate pay spine for nurses

05 Feb 2024

The current Government proposal to develop a separate pay spine for nurses in the NHS is totally unacceptable to the BDA. It goes against the ethos of Agenda for Change, which was implemented in order to ensure that all non-medical staff receive equal pay for work of equal value and that the contribution of all receives proper recognition.

The current recruitment and retention crisis in the NHS is not limited to nurses, it applies equally to BDA members, midwives, radiographers, physiotherapists, podiatrists, and other professions who have also expressed their opposition. The introduction of a stand-alone pay system for nurses would be divisive and unfair and will inevitably result in a surge in equal pay cases.

During pay negotiations last year all unions including the BDA raised concerns about career progression and professional development but the Royal College of Nursing has asked for special treatment for their members. This unnecessary proposal is totally unacceptable to the BDA and the other Agenda for Change unions.

All staff in the NHS deserve better. They deserve better pay now and pay restoration to address the long-term losses brought about by years of below inflation pay awards. They deserve better access to career progression and career development, better staffing levels to prevent burn out and to provide a robust and caring service to patients.

BDA members are an intrinsic part of the NHS team and undertake vital work for patients working alongside other professionals including nurses in multi-disciplinary teams. It is unfair to treat one part of the team differently. What is needed is the implementation of the sustainable long term workforce plan that applies to all staff and delivers better service to patients whilst improving the working lives of our members.

The problems raised by the Royal College of Nursing around job evaluation, low pay at entry level etc. apply equally to dietitians and dietetic support workers and this unnecessary and unworkable proposal is only going to divide the professions and not address the real issues.

The BDA will be responding to the Government consultation which closes on 4 April and we would encourage members to respond on an individual basis to add weight to the opposition.


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