15 trade unions representing staff in English NHS trusts have reached an agreement with employers to ensure that health workers are paid properly for overtime during the coronavirus crisis.
Although some NHS Trusts ensure that staff are paid for every hour worked, UNISON says “this hasn’t been the case everywhere” as they often work beyond their shifts without pay or on reduced rates.
They have therefore agreed a new guidance document that establishes a framework for temporary measures that can be introduced on a local basis – though require local agreement.
It follows a nine-point blueprint published by unions earlier this month that set out how to safe reopen the NHS – from full access to testing and “plentiful” protective equipment to proper staff pay.
The organisations – including UNISON, Unite, GMB, the Royal College of Nursing, and the Royal College of Midwives – released the plan ahead of lockdown easing and an expected uptake in service use.
Commenting on the new agreement today, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “These are challenging times, and no one can deny the huge contribution staff across the NHS are making during the pandemic.
“Every week people have been on their doorsteps, drives and balconies to show their support and appreciation. They will be pleased that health staff who go the extra mile should soon be going home with more money in their pockets.”
UNISON describes overtime pay for NHS workers as “just the start”, however, amid consensus in the Labour Party and labour movement that there cannot be a ‘return to normal’ post-Covid.
Gorton added: “Health workers and the public will expect ministers to remember the applause long after the clapping has stopped – and especially when they sit down with unions and employers later in the summer to agree the next NHS pay rise.”