- 0Aug 25, '11 by XB9S GuideI've been looking through the RCN website, sad during annual leave I know but it's the only time I get to do it.
The changes to the NHS pension is very concerning,
The Royal College of Nursing has responded angrily to the proposed employee contribution increases set out by the Department of Health for 2012/13 for nurses and other health care staff in the NHS pension scheme in England and Wales.
The RCN emphasises that this is a Department of Health consultation and not a joint consultation with unions. The RCN has not agreed any assumptions made in the document.
RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dr Peter Carter says these actions show that the Government has ‘torn up the agreement’ that would have led to increasing affordability in public sector pensions.
“That agreement would have delivered long term savings. It appears that nurses and other public servants are now bearing the brunt of a financial crisis caused by reckless risk taking in the banking sector," he says.
The RCN highlights that hard working nurses are in the middle of a two-year pay freeze, inflation is soaring and they now face the prospect of paying more money into their pension next year for no additional benefit.
“This latest development is not just about contributions in 2012. It is the start of a process that will increase contributions even further and make nurses work until they are dropping on their feet. All this is likely to have a devastating impact on the morale of dedicated nurses,” adds Dr Carter.
The RCN believes the current cost sharing arrangements in the NHS are fit for purpose and is calling on the Government to complete and publish the 2008 NHS scheme valuation, and have proper discussions on the costs of the scheme. It is only three years since nurses accepted fundamental changes to the pension scheme.
The RCN says that the Government does not need this fight. “The average NHS pension paid to a woman is less than £4,000 – far from the ‘gold plated’ term that is often used. “We know the strength of feeling among members and the RCN on behalf of nurses and health care assistants will vigorously defend fair pensions at all times,” warns Dr Carter.
The consultation applies to nursing staff working in England and Wales. It is expected that similar consultations will take place in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
So we are going to end up paying more for less
- 0Aug 26, '11 by XB9S GuideRCN update
The Royal College of Nursing joined other health service unions yesterday to discuss the next steps in responding to the Government’s proposed changes to the NHS pension scheme. At the meeting, the unions agreed to establish a pension campaign group and issued a statement which reiterated their commitment to pension negotiations and the expectation that the Government should reciprocate and not set unrealistic timetables or ultimatums.
The RCN and other unions disagree with the Government that there is any need for contribution increases outside those that might be required within the agreed ‘cap and share’ cost-sharing mechanism. They are also opposed to the planned increase to the retirement age and a move to a career average structure.
RCN Head of Employment Relations Josie Irwin says it is ‘sensible’ to think about what would happen if negotiations broke down.“That might mean one or all of the unions balloting for action and in that instance, from the RCN’s perspective, patient care is of the utmost importance. We need to think through these issues just in case,” she says.
The meeting took place at Unison’s offices in London and involved representatives from all the NHS trade unions including the British Medical Association, Unite, GMB and Managers in Partnership.Last edit by XB9S on Aug 27, '11