Gloucestershire hospitals' staff 'will not face 10% pay cut'

Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust has said it will not reduce staff pay by 10%.

The Trust had considered the cut under proposals for regional pay across England, which staff have said would mean longer hours for lower wages.

Staff have also said they were looking for jobs outside of the county as a result of the proposal.

The Trust is a member of the South West Pay Consortium which stretches from Dorset up to Gloucestershire.

The consortium has been set up to fix pay and terms and conditions as well as creating a regional pay system.

'No longer attractive'

David Smith, director of human resources for Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust, said base pay would not be cut.

But staff have remained worried about some of the changes, which are being looked at which include increasing working hours, cutting holiday entitlement and sick pay, and performance related pay progression.

Lisa Crooks, a nurse working in Cheltenham, said: "The changes mean working in Gloucestershire is no longer an attractive situation.

"I work in a specialist role, and I have to think that the cost of living is rising and my pay has already been frozen for several years.

"So, why should I do a highly specialised job but be paid less when essentially I could do the same job in Birmingham, Worcester, Oxford, which are all very easily commutable and actually earn more money and have better pay and conditions."

Unpopularity 'acknowledged'

Mr Harris said there were currently no proposals being discussed by the Trust and that reducing sick pay and performance related pay were part of national proposals.

"I will acknowledge that it is unpopular and staff are concerned, it'd be foolish not to," he said.

"This has been a subject that has been visible in the staff for months.

"The thought that we would want to develop proposals which disengage staff or make it uneconomic to work within the Trust would be ludicrous.

"We'd be cutting our noses of despite our face and that would be the last thing we want."

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