UNISON demands NHS chiefs stump up millions in unpaid wages

Date: Fri 1 February 2013

NHS union UNISON is demanding that NHS bosses in Greater Glasgow and Clyde pay thousands of NHS workers wages which have not been paid to them since 2008.

Millions of pounds are owed to nursing and other staff on rotational shifts for payments they lost out on because of errors in their holiday pay.

UNISON NHS Glasgow and Clyde Branch Secretary Cathy Miller said: “UNISON has been trying to highlight this issue for a long time. While we are pleased that NHS bosses finally accept that they have been getting it wrong, we are angry that our members remain out of pocket whilst the Board plod on with no apparent emphasis on getting a solution.”

The issue arose at the introduction of the NHS Pay system ‘Agenda for Change’ which says that NHS workers are entitled to be paid as if at work when on annual leave. For many staff this is not a problem. However for staff who work rotational shifts (days, nights and weekends) it has become apparent that NHS bosses have not been paying them properly.

UNISON estimates that the overall underpayment could be as much as £5m for every year since 2008, potentially £20m.

Cathy added: “UNISON members in the NHS work round the clock, often with no set pattern of work. It is clear from our investigations that some local managers are simply not able to work it out, while others may be manipulating the rosters to save money. Either way, UNISON members have a right to be paid properly and we will work to ensure that they are.”

The exercise could prove a logistical nightmare for NHS bosses and might require a detailed review of around 25,000 staff records.

Frances Lyall, Assistant Branch Secretary said: “This is what happens when you ask clinical staff to do the work of admin and clerical workers to try and save a few pounds. Across the NHS nurses and other registered clinical staff are having to take time away from patients to write reports, gather data and input wages.

“It’s high time NHS bosses understood that paying a nurse to input wages doesn’t save money, doesn’t improve patient care and leads to the kind of administrative nightmare we see developing before us.”

For information please contact:
Matt McLaughlin, Regional Organiser, 07904 341 979
Fiona Montgomery, Communications Officer, 0141 342 2877 or 07508 877 000.