Faced with a 12 hour strike the government approached the unions to make an offer in return for the strike being called off.  This shows the power the two previous strikes had to force the government to talk when it previously had refused and imposed a pay freeze for most NHS staff for this year and next.  Members will now be balloted as to whether they accept or reject the government's offer.

Intitial reactions from branch members has been to question the union leadership calling off the action.  Many report the mood for the strike being good and believe the planned strikes could have forced the government to make greater concessions. 

The branch is in the process of organising a branch meeting to allow members to discuss the offer and next steps in the pay campaign, including whether to launch a campaign for a cost of living supplement for all staff living in Oxfordshire.

The pay offer ony offers a very small rises for the lowest paid - at the expense of highest pay bands (detail at end with what the new payscale would look like if accepted).  However there is nothing to address the substantial losses staff have suffered bearing the brunt of government imposed austerity. For the majority of staff there is still no pay rise this year, and for those who got the 1% consolidated, they will lose it at the end of the year, so in effect their pay will be the same next year if this deal is accepted - this will affect around 30% of NHS staff.  For most staff the what is on offer the equivalent of a paltry 1% increase for the 2 years 2104-2016.  The offer also serves the purpose of dividing the opposition to the government policy of keeping NHS wages depressed.

Also there are serious concerns about what is going to happen with the government proposals for cuts in unsocial hours and incremental pay next year.  These are not explicitly referred  to in the offer, but there is a requirement for the unions  to sign up to "reform" of Agenda for Change, with a view to introducing changes in 2016.  If the idea of reforms is to reorganise terms, including introducing more extended hours, without additional funds, as is the case with this offer, then we can expect a demand to cut unsocial hours.

The full text of the letter from Secretary of State for Health to the unions can be seen here

The key points of the offer to NHS staff, except ambulance staff who have other issues addressed, are below.

  • Abolition of the bottom point of Agenda for Change and increasing pay point 2 to £15,100. This means an increase of 5.6% for staff on point one and 3.1% for staff on pay point 2:
  • 1% consolidated pay rise for all staff up to point 42 from April 2015:
  • A further consolidated pay rise of an additional 200 pounds for staff on pay point 3-8. This means staff on these pay points will receive an increase between 2.1% and 2.3%:
  • An increment freeze in 2015/16 for staff on pay point 34 and above for one year only:
  • Urgent talks to take place with a review to the proposed redundancy changes being implemented from 1st April 2015, including a floor for calculation of redundancy payments of £23,000 and a ceiling for calculation of £80,000 with an end to employer top up for early retirement on grounds of redundancy.

Current and proposed payscale.

Band 1  2014 Offer for 2015  
Point 1       £14294 Move to point 2  
Point 2       £14653 £15,100  
Point 3       £15013 £15,213  
Band 2      
Point 1       £14294 £14,637  
Point 2       £14653 £15,000  
Point 3       £15013 £15,363  
Point 4       £15432 £15,786  
Point 5       £15851 £16,210  
Point 6       £16271 £16,634  
Point 7       £16811 £17,179  
Point 8       £17425 £17,799  
Band 3      
Point 6      £16271 £16,434  
Point 7      £16811 £16,979  
Point 8      £17425 £17,599  
Point 9      £17794 £17,972  
Point 10    £18285 £18,468  
Point 11    £18838 £19,026  
Point 12    £19268 £19,461  
Band 4      
Point 11    £18838 £19,026  
Point 12    £19268 £19,461  
Point 13    £19947 £20,146  
Point 14    £20638 £20,844  
Point 15    £21265 £21,478  
Point 16    £21478 £21,693  
Point 17    £22016 £22,236  
Band 5      
Point 16    £21478 £21,693  
Point 17    £22016 £22,236  
Point 18    £22903 £23,132  
Point 19    £23825 £24,063  
Point 20    £24799 £25,047  
Point 21    £25783 £26,041  
Point 22    £26822 £27,090  
Point 23    £27901 £28,180  
Band 6      
Point 21    £25783 £26,041  
Point 22    £26822 £27,090  
Point 23    £27901 £28,180  
Point 24    £28755 £29,043  
Point 25    £29759 £30,057  
Point 26    £30764 £31,072  
Point 27    £31768 £32,086  
Point 28    £32898 £33,227  
Point 29    £34530 £34,875  
Band 7      
Point 26    £30764 £31,072  
Point 27    £31768 £32,086  
Point 28    £32898 £33,227  
Point 29    £34530 £34,875  
Point 30    £35536 £35,891  
Point 31    £36666 £37,033  
Point 32    £37921 £38,300  
Point 33    £39239 £39,631  
Point 34    £40558 £40,964  
Band 8a      
Point 33    £39239 £39,631  
Point 34    £40558 £40,964 Increment freeze
Point 35    £42190 £42,612 Increment freeze
Point 36    £43822 £44,260 Increment freeze
Point 37    £45707 £46,164 Increment freeze
Point 38    £47088 £47,559 Increment freeze
Band 8b      
Point 37    £45707 £46,164 Increment freeze
Point 38    £47088 £47,559 Increment freeze
Point 39    £49473 £49,968 Increment freeze
Point 40    £52235 £52,757 Increment freeze
Point 41    £54998 £55,548 Increment freeze
Point 42    £56504 £57,069 Increment freeze
Band 8c      
Point 41    £54998 No change Increment freeze
Point 42    £56504 No change Increment freeze
Point 43    £59016 No change Increment freeze
Point 44    £61779 No change Increment freeze
Point 45    £65922 No change Increment freeze
Point 46    £67805 No change Increment freeze
Band 8d      
Point 45    £65922 No change Increment freeze
Point 46    £67805 No change Increment freeze
Point 47    £70631 No change Increment freeze
Point 48    £74084 No change Increment freeze
Point 49    £77850 No change Increment freeze
Point 50    £81618 No change Increment freeze
Band 9      
Point 49    £77850 No change Increment freeze
Point 50    £81618 No change Increment freeze
Point 51    £85535 No change Increment freeze
Point 52    £89640 No change Increment freeze
Point 53    £93944 No change Increment freeze
Point 54    £98453 No change Increment freeze