Chief executive's notes: Pay cap, STPs, Consultants' contract

All eyes on the pay cap

As the fallout from the June general election continues, one of the key issues facing public-sector employees is the future of the pay cap.

HCSA recently joined with all 17 health unions and professional associations to express our disappointment that yet another year is to go by with the pay cap in place.

With inflation nearing 3 per cent, a derisory 1 per cent pay increase means that our members will again face a real-terms decline.

HCSA has always supported the independence of the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review body and we hope that, when it next makes its recommendation, the government will respect this as well.

Consultants' contract

The consultant contract negotiations have resumed following the period of purdah and high up on the agenda are the issues of pay, local clinical excellence awards, and safeguarding.

HCSA has brought some fresh ideas to the table and further meetings are now being planned for the autumn.

We will also be organising further local contract roadshows. If you would like us to visit your Trust please do contact our headquarters to let us know.

STP rollout

The rollout of the 44 STP plans earlier in the year has been one of the key issues that NHS trade unions have been trying to unravel.

While we have been told that staff engagement has been happening, we know it is an extremely patchy picture.

As for trade union engagement, it seems that very little is happening to engage local and regional staff-side groups.

We believe that this cloak-and-dagger approach to transparency must come to an end and the representatives of all NHS staff must be fully engaged and able to participate in future discussions. The first item on the agenda has to be the underfunding of STP proposals, including any workforce plans.

Welcome to our new members

Our decision at HCSA’s AGM earlier in the year to open up membership to Foundation grade doctors has seen a wave of new members joining from this group. In fact, our overall membership among doctors in training keeps growing.

We have much to offer hospital doctors, and with the various challenges ahead, now is the ideal time to join.

Please tell your colleagues about the HCSA – our strength comes from our growing membership.