Union leaders have gone up against bosses at a Norfolk hospital after claiming they will “attack” vulnerable staff with proposals to change sick pay arrangements.

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Unison entered a dispute with the James Paget Hospital (JPH) today as it has said medical chiefs are attempting to cut staff terms and conditions regarding sick pay.

Jeffrey Keighley, regional organiser for Unison, said by law bosses had to pay staff Statutory Sick Pay and through a national agreement they also give workers extra ‘hospital’ pay while ill.

But he said the JPH was now looking to “step outside the national agreement” and reduce workers’ hospital entitlement by the amount of statutory pay they would receive, which would greatly reduce their net wages.

He added: “This is a serious issue. As you are more likely to go off sick long term due to a disability, to have the same amount of their statutory pay removed is an attack on staff who are vulnerable.

“We are strongly opposed to a situation where, say, a member of staff hurts their back and suffers chronic pain, and is then treated less favourably than colleagues in other hospitals on national agreements.”

Mr Keighley said he could not understand why medical bosses were considering the cuts as he had been told cases of long term sickness at the JPH were “minimal”.

He added: “The trust could easily reduce sickness by redeployment to more suitable work and making adjustments to those with a disability and we have recently offered to work with them to achieve this.”

9 comments

  • It's well documented that people working in the public sector take twice the amount of time off sick compared to the rest of us living in the real world.Well done to JPH in trying to redress this drain on public resources - it's long overdue.

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    Tudor Bushe

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

  • No doubt you will be hoping that the next of kin of those two public sector workers shot today will be getting minimal compensation in order " to redress this drain on public resources . " I suspect you are a man whose job involves nothing more dangerous or demanding than rearranging the pens and paper clips on your desk.

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

  • "Paul Morley".....Norton , go and make use of the NHS by seeing a doctor.

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

  • Post Afgan stress rubbish! I think NOT. Seems we have volunteer for tour of duty in stress free Hemland Province none for its wonderful scenery and relaxing strolls! Care to accept the Queens shilling or work for the NHS hardly a comaprsion?

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    Paul Morley

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • wes1975 ....no such thing as stress ? Then what are all those many hundreds of servicemen doing claiming benefits and compensation for post traumatic stress ? There was one malingerer who last week got off a very serious motoring offence on the grounds that he was suffering from post-Afghan stress and didn't know what he was doing. A claim that was complete rubbish of course.

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • Well if the employees do get sick they are in the right place to get better....Well done to JPH as the are lots of employees these days using 'stress' as an excuse for having time off.My brother-in-law is a pongo who's just come back from his fourth time in Afghan,but do you see him take time off with 'stress'? Er,no.There's no such thing as stress.These molly coddled public sector employees use excuses as this and the old bad back routine just to swing the lead.

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    wes1975

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • Indeed well done JPH. It’s our funding that’s being spent and efficiency should be prerequisite. We often hear how competitive government employees are yet when it comes to measuring them against private industry we suddenly hear them cry foul. I am sorry but I see no connection between this subject and the awful events in Manchester. That is very much another debate, unless of cause there are gun battles at the JPH we haven’t heard about.

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    Paul Morley

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

  • Tell that to his face then......Nah,you wont will you.Typical blinkered Civvy.

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    wes1975

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • I am not convinced that all public sector employers have significanlty higher sickness absence rates, if at all, than many private sector employers. What I have observed from experience is that the public sector are often much more rigourous in their recording of sickness, and often more so than some of the larger private sector employers. My manager who works in both sectors agrees that many private sector employers, including those that pay contractual sick pay do not accurately record there sickness absence. Many public sector employers are also more proactive in tackling both short and long term absenteeism. Better management of sickness absence would generally provide a more positive outcome all round rather than than merely withdrawing contractual sick pay, on the basis that all those off sick are 'skiving'.

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    Jaguar

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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