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Union welcomes end of Dorset County Hospital's involvement with consortium
12:10pm Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
UNION leaders claim staff at Dorset County Hospital’s morale has been boosted by the end of its involvement with a controversial pay consortium.
The Dorchester hospital was one of 19 across the South West collectively looking at pay, terms and conditions.
Unions reacted angrily to the move, claiming the move could disadvantage staff from the region if measures proposed by the consortium were introduced.
The Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust's board has now considered a number of recommendations put forward by the consortium, which largely advocate the need for employers and staff representatives to work together to implement national pay conditions agreed under the Agenda for Change banner.
However, it did not support a recommendation to reinstate the consortium approach in the future and recognised the end of its work.
The hospital's director of workforce and human resources Mark Power said: “The consortium has been useful and productive in drawing attention to the need to reform elements of the national pay systems and in influencing recent developments in this area.
“The board reinforced its support for nationally negotiated terms and conditions and recognised the end of the consortium's work.”
Unison area organiser for the South West Jon Dunn said: “Unison members told us that the trust's membership of the pay consortium meant staff felt betrayed and devalued.
“Unison has campaigned hard on this issue.
“This decision has boosted staff morale with our members feeling the trust has recognised their exceptional commitment to patients, and clearly shows that the trust recognises the value of national pay and conditions for NHS staff.”
Regional secretary for Unison Joanne Kaye added: “This is great news for our members and shows the success of Unison's ongoing campaign against regional and postcode pay.
“These are exceptionally difficult times, but with the threat of regional pay no longer hanging over members' heads, Unison looks forward to working with the trust to face up to the challenges they are facing as a result of the coalition government's austerity policies.
“We applaud this move by the Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.”
Regional organiser for the union Helen Eccles said the move highlighted the importance of national pay negotiations that were conducted between unions and NHS national employers.
She added: “Locally, members are delighted that the shadow of local pay has been lifted so they can get on with doing their job just looking after patients.”