St Ives MP Andrew George leads meeting against regional pay
A cross party group of MPs from the South West will meet Hospitals Minister, Dr Dan Poulter MP, this evening in the Department of Health to increase pressure against plans by a "consortium" of health trusts to introduce regional changes to pay and conditions.
The delegation of 14 MPs led by Liberal Democrat MP for the West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives, Andrew George, will call on the Minister to use his influence to encourage the health trusts to work within the framework of national pay bargaining.
Trusts and hospitals across the Westcountry have joined the South West Pay Consortium, dubbed a 'cartel' by unions, which is reviewing staff terms and conditions, including pay rates, number of working hours, amount of annual leave and sickness leave entitlement.
Critics say the move will end uniform national pay across the NHS as nurses and other staff in the region are at risk of being paid less than counterparts elsewhere in the country.
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They also fear it paves the way for other sections of the public sector to peg workers' pay to local wages, hitting low-paid Devon and Cornwall hard.