Nurses ‘may have to find new jobs’ af­ter wages slashed Hospi­tal staff hit out af­ter tak­ing pay cuts fol­low­ing merger of NHS trusts

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Ali­son Stacey Health Cor­re­spon­dent

NURSES work­ing at the former Heart of Eng­land Trust have re­vealed their wages have been slashed fol­low­ing a merger with the Queen El­iz­a­beth Hospi­tal in April.

Some staff have had their hourly week­end rate re­duced and their an­nual leave stopped in new con­tracts with the Univer­sity Hos­pi­tals Trust (UHB).

Now ‘bank’ nurses at Good Hope, Soli­hull and Heart­lands hos­pi­tals, who are tem­po­rary, flex­i­ble staff with reg­u­lar shifts, say that the changes could force them out of the in­dus­try.

Many are sin­gle par­ents and say the cut in hourly rates means they could now be hun­dreds or pos­si­bly thou­sands of pounds a year worse off

Band 2 staff have seen their Sun­day hourly rate cut from £17.11 per hour to £13.74 since Au­gust 1.

Band 5 nurses have seen rates cut from £23.06 to £21.23.

One nurse, who has been bank staff at Heart of Eng­land (HEFT) for more than 15 years, told the Post: their “It’s up­set­ting and morale is very low. We are do­ing the same job as be­fore but be­ing paid less.

“Be­fore we would ac­crue an­nual leave, but now that has been taken away and sub­sided into our new lower wage. No­body is happy about it, and some peo­ple have even talked about look­ing for work else­where. Peo­ple are say­ing they would get bet­ter rates at Lidl.

“It’s counter pro­duc­tive as then the hospi­tal will have to rely on agency staff, who are less fa­mil­iar with the hospi­tal sys­tems, and ul­ti­mately it will be the pa­tients who suf­fer.

“There’s a lot of bad feel­ing. It’s pal­pa­ble. When you put in years and years of ser­vice to the trust it is a real blow when your wage is sud­denly cut. A lot of the staff chose bank work so that they may have young chil­dren, be a sin­gle par­ent, or have an el­derly par­ent to look af­ter at home.

“These changes could make a very real detri­men­tal ef­fect.”

Another bank nurse at the trust has started an on­line pe­ti­tion to ap­peal to the hospi­tal to up­hold the pre­vi­ous wage. It has al­ready gath­ered al­most 1,000 sig­na­tures.

The pe­ti­tion states: “This could ad­versely ef­fect sin­gle par­ents or fam­i­lies who opt to work week­ends due to the high cost of child care dur­ing the work­ing week.

“These changes will see an av­er­age re­duc­tion of £203 a month.

“Bank staff make up a huge amount of NHS work­ers and are used to fill short falls on the al­ready se­verely un­der­staffed wards.

“As staff we are con­stantly pushed to ex­tremes with very lit­tle grat­i­tude, but we con­tinue to do so be­cause we love our job.”

A spokesper­son from UHB told the Post: “UHB, HEFT (pre-merger) and Birm­ing­ham Women’s and Chil­drens (BWC) agreed some time ago that there should be par­ity in pay rates for all in­ter­nal bank staff across

It’s up­set­ting and morale is very low. We are do­ing the same job as be­fore but be­ing paid less Nurse

their hos­pi­tals, to of­fer a con­sis­tent ap­proach for all em­ploy­ees, to­gether. with a wider scope to un­der­take shifts at dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions which may bet­ter suit per­sonal needs as an in­di­vid­ual.

“The amal­ga­ma­tion was im­ple­mented a year ago within UHB and BWC and has seen a greater up­take of bank staff with less re­liance on agency staff. From Au­gust 1 2018, the HGS sites [Heart­lands, Good Hope and Soli­hull hos­pi­tals, post-merger] have also adopted the stan­dard­ised rates which it is hoped will lead to a fur­ther re­duc­tion in re­liance on agency staff.

“The bank staff are a val­ued and in­te­gral re­source for the safe run­ning of the merged UHB’s four hos­pi­tals.”

>Bank nurses at Good Hope, Soli­hull and Heart­lands hos­pi­tals claim a pay cut af­ter merg­ing with Queen El­iz­a­beth Hospi­tal could force some out

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.