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Healthcare professionals to consider industrial action

07 April 2014

Imaging and therapy professionals meeting in Leeds have pledged to consult the 26,000 members of the Society of Radiographers over the government’s decision to reject a pay rise for NHS staff.

The radiographers’ union annual conference condemned the government’s rejection of the NHS Pay Review Body’s recommendation of a 1% rise.

“We are appalled at the disrespectful and unfair way that the coalition government is treating NHS staff in England,” commented Karen Smith, the Society’s president-elect.

“We are incandescent with rage that they boast about the economic recovery and that we are all feeling the benefits and then treat health workers so shoddily,” she continued.

“This government is so arrogant that they can throw out the evidence based independent Pay Review Body recommendations and replace it with their own derisory and divisive offer that is based on no credible facts to back it up at all.”

Karen Smith told delegates that: “the two or three year deal offered is worthless against a backdrop of price rises and interest rate increases. NHS staff have suffered a pay freeze for two years. This attack on incremental pay is not in reality about pay but is a thinly disguised attempt to create a climate of privatisation of the NHS.”

Conference delegates voted unanimously to consult the Society’s members on what should be done to oppose the pay offer, including the possibility of taking industrial action.

Warren Town, the union’s director of industrial strategy, commented: “Incremental pay recognises the development of skills and expertise in the initial few years of a person taking on a new role. Increments should be seen as separate to annual pay awards and not as a target to punish NHS employees, who are already under enormous pressure to deliver more services with dwindling resources,” he continued.

"Workers across the public sector have had to shoulder the burden of the coalition government’s austerity programme. This is a thinly disguised attempt to cause division between and amongst public sector staff and emphasises the lack of appreciation of the government for the outstanding work done by SoR members, other NHS staff and colleagues across the public sector," he said.

Notes for Editor

The Society of Radiographers is the trade union and professional body for radiographers and all non-medical members of the workforce in diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy in the UK. It is responsible for their professional, educational, public and workplace interests. It has 26,000 members and represents more than 80 per cent of the radiography workforce. NHS staff are placed in one of nine pay bands depending on the knowledge, skills, effort and responsibility required for their position. Within each pay band, there are a number of pay points. As staff develop their skills, knowledge and experience, they progress in annual increments up to the maximum of their pay band. For further information, please contact Dominic Deeson on 0795 784 5238.

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