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Threats of strike action over pay

21 June 2019

A total of 57 health visitors employed by Lincolnshire County Council are to be balloted on strike action in a dispute over their pay conditions.
 

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Since being transferred to the local authorities, the Lincolnshire County Council have refused to give health visitors annual pay rises despite being on the NHS Agenda for Change contract. 

What’s more, union officials claim there has been an ‘erosion’ of the professional responsibilities of health visitors – and this could adversely impact vulnerable families.

Lead Professional Officer for the East Midlands, Jane Beach, states that the council have allegedly split the health visitor service into two levels, removing key elements from level one.

As a result, level one no longer constitutes a health visitor role, now being more in line with a staff nurse position. 

‘This will leave a big gap in the service putting children and families at risk with fewer level two health visitors who themselves will be at risk of burnout’, says Jane.

The union is campaigning for health visitors and other community nurses to be taken back into the NHS ‘family’, as the profession now faces a crisis with the lowest number of health visitors in England since September 2012, latest figures from NHS Digital reveal. 

This means that health visitors now look after more under-fives than the 250-maximum recommended by CPHVA.

Unite regional officer, Steve Syson, states it is unprecedented that health visitors are being balloted for strike action on the council’s refusal to give them a pay rise since 2017.

‘We want our members to have a pay rate that properly reflects the health visitor specialist role, in line with the county council’s grade 10, backdated to April last year. We also want no reduction in our members’ professional responsibilities and duties.’

 

Image credit | iStock

 

Author: Nicole Bains

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