Labour opposes local NHS pay negotiations
LABOUR'S mayoral candidate Marvin Rees has joined forces with Bristol's Labour MPs Dawn Primarolo and Kerry McCarthy to call on the new Health Secretary to stop plans for regional pay in the South West.
Health workers are worried about the prospect of pay cuts, increased hours and performance-related pay being introduced by a group of 20 health trusts, including Bristol and Weston's hospital trusts.
Mr Rees, who works in the NHS as a programmer, said: "My plans for Bristol are to build a world class city that rewards work and grows the economy. Cutting pay and reducing people's terms and conditions are simply not creating the right environment to grow our local economy.
"My intention to implement a living wage for Bristol is just one element of ensuring a secure well rewarded productive workforce in the city.
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"It is also essential that we take Bristol forward in areas like holidays and work-life balance, not backwards. Wage reductions, reducing morale at work and making the workforce less secure damages the local economy. It is time for a fresh approach".
Ms Primarolo, Labour MP for Bristol South and a former health minister, said: "The time has come to end these proposals. Balancing the books on the backs of hard working nurses, hospital porters and paramedics is short-sighted and wrong.
"NHS employees are already subject to a pay freeze while food, fuel and energy prices continue to be sky-high. With senior figures in the Government appearing to suggest that pay cuts are wrong, it is puzzling to see the Consortium continuing its work."
Ms McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East, said: "I am very concerned local hospital trusts are talking behind closed doors about measures to save money by cutting terms and conditions for NHS staff, who are already getting a 15 per cent in real terms cut in wages over the next five years."