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Derby Hospitals downbanding deal improved

Published: 26 June 2008

The Royal College of Nursing and Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have reached an agreement which will further improve the pay protection package for nurses whose posts are due to be downgraded as part of a restructure at the trust's two hospitals.

All staff on protected pay will receive the nationally-agreed cost of living pay increases for the duration of their protection period. The RCN wrote to the trust to pursue this benefit on behalf of its members when it became clear the recently-negotiated three-year NHS pay deal was in the pipeline.

RCN regional officer Cliff Edwards said: "Since withdrawing from the dispute over downbanding in April, the RCN has resumed normal employment relations with the trust.

"The moment we knew that a three-year NHS pay deal was likely to arise from national pay negotiations, we wrote to the trust to request that the annual pay rise over the three years is given to affected staff who would otherwise be paid less during the period of their pay protection. The trust's agreement is obviously very welcome."

RCN members affected by the downgrading plans reluctantly decided in April to accept an improved offer from the trust to settle the dispute. The offer included an extended period of pay protection plus the trust's agreement to a joint monitoring and review process with trade unions to assess any adverse impact of the restructure on patient safety.

The RCN is establishing a monitoring group from among its membership in Derby to help inform the patient safety review process and is working to ensure that staff involved in the process are recognised by an academic accreditation.