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Brighton nurses pay slashed
Hundreds of hospital workers are facing a pay cut as an NHS trust works to save millions of pounds.
Managers at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust want to reduce the amount of money it pays to its team of nursing bank staff - which could save it up to £1.5 million a year.
Bank staff provide cover for vacancies, sickness and special leave such as maternity.
There are about 2,200 staff on the books and most of the workers are already employed by the trust. They use bank shifts as overtime to earn extra money.
However 550 workers, including nurses and healthcare assistants, only work bank shifts and do not have the benefit of sick pay or holiday pay.
One member of staff who contacted The Argus said: “A lot of people are very upset about this. It is not good for morale, especially when we are in such a busy time of year and coming up to Christmas.
“Those who only work on the bank are basically being told to take a pay cut and those who use it for overtime shifts are not really going to want to work them if they don't get the benefit they used to.
“This could cause problems in providing cover for the wards.”
The trust says its bank rates are higher than most other hospitals in England and reducing the amount paid will make it fairer for all staff as well as save money.
For example the changes would mean a Band 2 healthcare assistant currently paid £11.26 an hour for a 12 hour weekday shift, will be paid £7.89 an hour instead.
It said it was offering those staff who only work on bank shifts the chance to become a fully employed member of the trust, which would also help it fill its vacancies.
Meetings are being held this week to discuss the planned changes, which if they go ahead, are expected to come into force in February.
In a message to staff, chief nurse Sherree Fagge, said: “I know this is going to be difficult.
“For many it will be an opportunity to become a substantive member of BSUH staff with all the security and benefits you don't get when you work full-time on the bank.
“But I also know, and am genuinely sorry that this could mean some of you get less money each month at a time when everything else is getting more expensive.”
Gary Palmer from the GMB said his union did not support the proposals and be working to protect their members' best interests.
The trust is aiming to make £20 million savings this year to keep it on financial track.
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