It’s time for the Government to Pay Up NOW
NHS staff on Agenda for Change pay scales, including dietitians and dietetic support workers, are not included in the Chancellor's announcement that some public sector workers are to receive above inflation pay awards this year, as they are in the final year of a three-year pay deal. This isn't good enough.
We wrote to Government, along with our sister health trade unions, at the beginning of July asking them to 'bring forward' the next pay settlement date from April 2021 to later this year. It is disappointing that Government have not taken this opportunity to respond positively to our letter and recognise the vital, life-saving work of workers across the NHS in response to unprecedented challenges.
The details of the pay claim are still being discussed and are subject to consultation and agreement. The NHS Staff Council Trade Unions are working together to fight for the best possible award for our members.
What you can do
We need to get the government to change their mind on NHS pay. Politicians work for you. They should want to hear from you about what’s important to you, and frankly they have a duty to listen and respond.
The most straightforward way to let them know what you think about NHS pay is to write to them. A physical letter or email is best, rather than using social media. We have created a template letter to to act as a starting point. However, the most impact will come from writing in your own words, and not words given to you by the BDA or others. Politicians can spot copy and paste messages and they are more likely to ignore them, or give a copy and paste response.
- If you have been working in the NHS throughout the last decade, tell them about how your pay has been held down for years – and if you have ways of demonstrating the impact that has had on you and your family, tell them. These personal details are so important and really effective.
- Highlight why you pursued a career in dietetics and the difference you wanted to make in the community.
- Tell them what it has been like to work in the NHS during the pandemic. If you have had worries and concerns but gone into work nonetheless, tell them.
- If you are having financial difficulties especially if they are caused by the pandemic and are comfortable telling them about this, please do so.
- Say that you support the BDA’s call for an early and substantial pay rise for frontline NHS staff like yourself. Next April is too long to wait. It should be brought forward into this year.
- Ask them directly but politely if they support your call for an early and substantial pay rise.
- If you are in England: ask them specifically to write on your behalf to both the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, calling for an early and substantial pay rise for NHS frontline staff.
- If you are in Scotland: ask them specifically to write on your behalf to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, calling for an early and substantial pay rise for NHS frontline staff.
- If you are in Wales: ask them specifically to write on your behalf to the Minister for Health and Social Services, calling for an early and substantial pay rise for NHS frontline staff.
- If you are in Northern Ireland: ask them specifically to write on your behalf to the Minister of Health, calling for an early and substantial pay rise for NHS frontline staff.
Your letter or email to them need not be long. In fact, shorter is better. But if you cover the points above, you will have got your message across. For more advice on writing to political representatives, take a look at our Standing Up for Dietetics pages.
On pay, everything isn’t decided for the whole United Kingdom by MPs in Westminster. Devolution means that MPs do decide things for England, but in Scotland it is the Scottish Parliament, in Wales the Welsh Parliament (Senedd Cymru), and in Northern Ireland it is the Northern Ireland Assembly. So, depending upon which part of the UK you live in, you may need to contact your MP (England), MSP (Scotland), MS (Wales) or MLA (Northern Ireland).
- In England, you can find your MP’s details here.
- In Scotland, find your MSP’s details here.
- In Wales, find your MS’s details here.
- In Northern Ireland, find your MLA’s details here.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (but not England) you will be represented by more than one person – either multiple people per constituency (in Northern Ireland) or by people who represent your region as well as people who represent your constituency (in Scotland and Wales).
Let us know what they say
Please do let us know if you write and what replies you get, both from your local representative but also any replies you get from the letters they send to ministers. You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. It is really helpful to know how many members are helping out and what you are hearing.