Brighton hospital workers to protest about pay cut today

Posted On 03 Mar 2014 at 9:31 am

NHS staff plan to protest outside the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton over a pay cut that takes effect today (Monday 3 March).

Hundreds of “bank” staff are affected by changes to their hourly rate, prompting the protest which has been organised by the GMB union. The demo is due to start at 11am today.

The trust which runs the Royal Sussex – Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust – wants to equalise pay for bank and permanent staff.

It regards the current pay rates as unfair and it hopes to save more than £1 million a year as a result of the changes.

The trust has more than 2,000 bank staff and deploys them to cover sickness and vacancies. Most work for the trust in other roles and use bank shifts to earn overtime.

But more than 500 people – mostly healthcare assistants and nurses – work only bank shifts.

Nancy Platts

Nancy Platts

Dozens are being offered permanent roles as the trust also tries to reduce its reliance on bank staff.

The GMB criticised the trust for making the changes after years of pay freezes and below-inflation pay rises.

Nancy Platts, the Labour parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown, plans to join the protesters outside the Royal Sussex at 11am.

She said: “It is shocking that our dedicated NHS staff, who work so hard and many of whom are on low wages are facing further cuts to their pay.

“If this proposal goes through, there is a risk that trained NHS staff will be unable to afford to live on their wages and be forced to look for jobs outside our local NHS.

“I think this would be a tragic loss to Brighton and exacerbate the current problem of unfilled vacancies.

“If the trust wants to reduce the number of bank staff it uses and instead fill all their vacancies, then the obvious solution is to increase the wages of permanent staff so they can afford to live and work in our city.”

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