NHS pay cuts help us to see austerity for what it really is

 

Warren Town is shortlisted for this year’s UnionHome writer of the year competition.

As the politicians on both sides contemplate the pay for health service staff and witness the backlash from the announcement by that nice Mr Hunt (Sec of State) to divide and rule over pay uplifts, you can but wonder which planet the MPs inhabit.

 

Labour condemn the government for not giving all NHS staff a rise and in the same breath agree that if elected they need to continue the austerity programme the coalition have introduced.

 

That other lot, the Tories and the Liberals (remember them!) bleat on about affordability and the need to have sufficient funds to pay for high quality care when a report published by the ‘Point of Care Foundation’ http://www.pointofcarefoundation.org.uk/Home/ highlighted the need to have an engaged and content workforce to provide that care. I suppose cutting NHS staff pay is an MP’s way to provide an incentive to care and be valued! But wait they have agreed an uplift the following year. This is a kin to mouldy jam on stale bread.

 

So the government’s response is to ignore a perfectly reasoned Pay Review Body Report and impose their own recommendation that suits, using arguments that do not stack up and imposition that no one wants!

 

At least we can say that the Pay Review Body are consistent and have integrity.

 

But cast your minds back to the MP pay rise and recommendation. Was it not Clegg and his mates saying that they felt that an 11% pay rise was too much? Odd how you adopt a principled position when the award you have been offered cannot be refused. We must feel sorry for them to have this recommendation imposed on them.

 

Odd that MPS are so keen to champion the need for performance, when theirs is wistfully well below par.

 

Odd that it is a jury of millionaires that determine that those of us providing a service to the nation must suffer when they themselves enjoy a privileged position.

 

The spurious statement by Hunt that NHS employees enjoy a pay rise as a matter of course because they have increments, beggar’s belief.

 

Only last year the Unions agreed a framework to ensure that progressions would be measured.

 

Why has this not happened? – Because employers do not have frameworks in place to monitor or judge staff performance.

 

The government’s answer to this fiasco is not to ensure that employers do their job but to punish the staff by imposing a pay cut.

 

Let’s stop looking at this as a ‘austerity’ package and see it for what it is.

 

This government has failed to balance the books as it said it would. This government has failed to support public service and has done nothing to encourage investment in training and development or in a system of care vital to the well being of England and Wales.

 

This government is now so arrogant that it believes it can do and say what it likes because the public are so demoralised and the opposition is so weak that any dissent is nothing more than a distraction.

 

Love them or hate them, without a credible alternative Cameron (not Clegg) may breeze into the next national election with the belief that the future is blue and that they are the only alternative.

 

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