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Ear to the Ground

British Health Workers Feel the Pain

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Posted on Jul 18, 2012
heipei (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Amid a $31-billion budget crisis, thousands of British doctors and nurses will lose their jobs unless they agree to accept lower salaries, longer working hours and other conditions, according to a leaked document obtained by The Sunday Times.

A Department of Health spokesman defended the moves, saying: “NHS providers have long had the power to employ staff on such terms that they consider appropriate, including under the foundation trust laws passed under the previous government. This means employers are free to negotiate any changes to national agreements directly with staff locally or their representatives. We would expect NHS employers and trade unions to work together to ensure the national Agenda for Change pay scheme remains fit for purpose.”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

SAS Doctors UK:

Among proposals are the termination of all staff contracts and a reissue on different terms that could include pay cuts of up to 5%, an end to overtime for nights, weekends and bank holidays and reduced holiday leave, the paper said. Staff may also be forced to work longer shifts and sick pay rates could be cut, [the document] added.

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