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Pay dispute: Consultants in England to vote on reform package

HCSA has announced plans to ballot consultant members in England following an offer reached in tripartite negotiations with the Department of Health and Social Care and the BMA.

Members will be asked to vote on the package of proposed changes to the core pay spine, alongside other benefits and amendments to terms and conditions.

In authorising the planned ballot, HCSA’s executive expressed concerns over some details of the package which precluded it from taking a formal position to accept the offer.

The package includes:

  • Uplifts to several pay spine points funded by additional government investment (3.45%) alongside the recycling of future LCEA allocation (1.5%)
  • A reduction in the number of pay spine points on the consultant scale and the years it takes to progress to the top point
  • Additional performance requirements which must be met prior to employer authorising pay progression, replacing automatic pay progression
  • The end of future LCEA awards
  • Protections for existing old-style LCEA holders
  • Enhanced shared parental leave
  • Changes which would permit Supporting Professional Activities time, beyond that required for revalidation and appraisal, to be redirected by agreement towards government priorities
  • Limited commitments to revise the DDRB pay review process

Full details, including the HCSA executive’s observations, will be published to inform members prior to the ballot opening.

HCSA President Dr Naru Narayanan said: “Today’s announcement follows weeks of intense negotiations. Yet while it has benefits for consultants our executive expressed concerns about some parts of the package, including around changes to pay progression and SPA time.

“In coming days we shall do our utmost to educate our consultant members on the changes so they can make their own informed decision. Whatever that decision is, we shall be led by our members.

“While the ballot is open HCSA has agreed to pause strikes by consultants, but the mandate members have given us for industrial action will remain in place.”

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