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#17555 27/03/06 11:24 AM
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Did anyone see Panorama last night regarding the state of the NHS and who is to blame?
One of the statements that was made regarding the financial crisis was that the government and hospital managers had underestimated the impact AfC would have on an increase in salaries.
Firstly, I understood that money had been put aside by the government for Trusts to use for AfC to cover any increase in salaries and its administration.
Secondly, and more importantly, has anyone had an increase in their salary due to AfC?


Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own.
#17556 27/03/06 12:29 PM
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Hi Kawasaki,

As far as I'm aware AfC was intended to be funded from the increases in NHS funding that were provided in the 2/3 years prior to its implementation (that's what I read in DoH and Trades Union stuff anyhow). I can't see how this is a reasonable expectation from the DoH nor Trades Unions given that it's common knowledge that Trusts cannot just squirrel away funds for such purposes, year on year.

The big problem with finances and why staff salaries, in particular, are now becoming such as burden and a focus for the media is that AfC coincided with the requirement for all Trusts to foot the bill for pay and pension overheads, i.e. pension contributions, that used to be funded centrally prior to 2005. This is a massive increase in the financial burden placed upon Trusts that I think is unsustainable.

AfC reform, that stemmed from European legislation on equal pay rights (that was allegedly prompted by legal action by some staff groups, in the past, e.g. speech therapists, I believe) is now being blamed for the current financial problems. In my opinion, based upon what I've read, etc, difficulties in financing staff salaries and associated overheads are due to the de-centralisation of financing for pay related issues ,such as pension contributions, I think.

Why did the government choose such a difficult period of change and restructure to do this (especially as those in the know must have been aware of the likelihood that certain staff groups were being employed on the cheap; thus there would be significant cost implications)? Perhaps it was intended to be the catalyst that prompted Trusts to make difficult decisions that affect employees (who're accruing final salary pensions) such as redundancies.

What's difficult for me to come to terms with is that NHS staff were never consulted with regards to negotiations about the concept of AfC - it was just negotiated between the government, the DoH and the Trades Unions. Trades Unions such as AMICUS (MSF as was) certainly didn't consult with their members so I suspect it's UNISON and the Nursing bodies that were involved in most of it. Surely the implications RE: pay and overheads were thrashed-out in the 5 years it apparently took to negotiate the deal? A lack of forward planning from all parties concerned, as usual, I suspect.

Yes, I've effectively had a moderate pay-increase and more importantly some room for progression. This is due to the fact that the AfC evaluation deemed that I was being underpaid for my knowledge, skills, experience and my current job-role. Of course like everybody else I'll now have to jump through the hoops to progress in the new banding structure.

#17557 27/03/06 2:51 PM
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From what I recall, as a member of Amicus we were asked if we wanted to allow the talks etc to proceed. However, it is interesting to note that in the associated blurb it was stated that there was no alternative to AfC on the table (or anywhere else). In other words we would get AfC or AfC.

#17558 27/03/06 2:52 PM
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Were non-union members consulted at all, prior or even during the negotiations, I wonder? I doubt it very much.

#17559 27/03/06 4:15 PM
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Hello Kawasaki,

Yes I did watch most of pananorama.

If I had stayed in my job as an engineer I would be now receiving more money, i was at the top of an MTO3 and AFC gave me more increments points to be awarded each year.
I didnt ask for them and was not that desperate for a pay rise, not that i would say no to more money, but who would!!!

One of the very interseting points from that programme was the waste of resources and money from various agencies within the NHS.

The cost of obtaining the costs of over 500 operations (fixed prices) could not of been an easy task, and for what!! What a waste of money!!!

It would be interesting too know how much money is spent on fulfilling guidelines compared to the money spent on patient care!!!

I would be out of a job if the NHS stopped trying to fulfill "standards" and "criteria", but do we want to stop being accountable?
Do we as patients not want accountabilty of our service??
I for one do!!
The NHS has many good points, but the NHS of yesteryear where patients were not informed and had no choice is not acceptable in these times.
Long gone are the days of "take this tablet and go home".

Tracy


Self Employed Governance & Medical Devices Consultant /
NHS Professional - Medical Engineer & Medical Devices Trainer
#17560 28/03/06 12:54 PM
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"What's difficult for me to come to terms with is that NHS staff were never consulted with regards to negotiations about the concept of AfC - it was just negotiated between the government, the DoH and the Trades Unions. Trades Unions such as AMICUS (MSF as was) certainly didn't consult with their members so I suspect it's UNISON and the Nursing bodies that were involved in most of it. Surely the implications RE: pay and overheads were thrashed-out in the 5 years it apparently took to negotiate the deal? A lack of forward planning from all parties concerned, as usual, I suspect."

I think you need to get your facts right before you make some statements my union Amicus definately asked me what i wanted to do and our local group and trust bods definately kept us in touch with what was going on.
Maybe its a local issue that you need to sort.

#17561 28/03/06 1:11 PM
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Back at the beginning of this thread, someone asked if anyone had received any increase in pay as a result of AfC.

The answer seems to depend on where you were in the pay structure. Those at the bottom appear to have done quite well, with an immediate increase and an expanded structure to climb up. Those in the middle appear to have stood still, perhaps with a few years increments added to their scale compared to what they had. Those towards the top seem to be either stuck at the top of the new bands or on pay protection (whether you call that Protection or Recruitment & Retention).

Maybe the unions were so in favour of the deal because the majority of their members are at the bottom end of the structure and have done quite well ?

Just a thought !

Roy


Today is the day you worried about yesterday - and all is well !
#17562 28/03/06 1:34 PM
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Weren't we meant to have 2 votes on AfC - 1 to start the ball rolling and the 2nd to implement AfC or not?

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Mark

I got a pay rise.

#17563 28/03/06 2:33 PM
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Two of us here were at top of MTO3, Banded 6 got a small increase


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Bullsh*t and brilliance only come with age and experience.
#17564 28/03/06 3:00 PM
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KM,

Quote:
I think you need to get your facts right before you make some statements my union Amicus definately asked me what i wanted to do and our local group and trust bods definately kept us in touch with what was going on.
Maybe its a local issue that you need to sort.
Perhaps we're talking at cross purposes - the negotiations for AfC I'm talking about are the ones that were thrashed out 4/5 years before AfC was actually implemented; not the consultation on when/how it was to be implemented. I certainly wasn't aware of the introduction of AfC until a few years after these negotiations and at this time there were very few, if any, of my colleagues that knew anything about it either. I'd have thought that my local union representatives would have made me aware or I'd have had some say in whether my Trades Union could enter into these sort of negotiations or at least some consultation.

Nonetheless it's still a fact that I wasn't aware of the initial AfC negotiations, on my behalf as a trades union member, and I feel that there is a lack of forward planning - hence the financial problems the NHS has now (that are being attributed to AfC). It is also a fact that many trades union members received (others didn't receive it at all) the ballot form, for voting on going forward with AfC, too late to vote. I find this indefensible at local or national level - shoddy in fact. QED. However at local level our union representation RE: AfC, specifically, has been very good, on balance after a shaky start, considering the difficulties faced by some colleagues in other NHS Trusts.

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