In July 2015, after hearing evidence submitted by UNISON and others, the Pay Review Body recognised the strength of feeling. They reported that there was no major case to reform the system but there were aspects that should be looked at. These included evening work, occasions when less than half of your shift falls unsocially, and most relevantly to the junior doctors dispute: Saturday working.
Since the NHS Pay Review Body conceded that there was no case to unilaterally change unsocial hours pay, the government has been locked in a bitter dispute with junior doctors.
They have not returned to talk about our Agenda for Change unsocial hours or the pay review recommendations. However Jeremy Hunt continues to peddle the lie that changes are needed to deliver a “7 day NHS”. We know that many NHS staff work around the clock to ensure quality patient care, day and night, 7 days a week. It is only right that time worked during unsocial hours is paid at a higher rate – a rate that compensates staff adequately for the extra strain it puts on them. We don’t know if or when the Government will return to the Pay Review Body recommendations of July 2015, but we want them to know that if they do they will face a fight every bit as resolute as the one they picked with the junior doctors. We need to keep the pressure on.
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