RCPCH statement in response to UNITE’s decision to ballot members for industrial action

Following the news from UNITE the union that their members will be invited to ballot for industrial action, RCPCH have issued the following statement.
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The College is disappointed that UNITE is inviting their members to ballot for industrial action. We are saddened that this may result in strike action which will have an impact on our paediatric members, exam candidates and all staff who are working collectively to support paediatricians and our mission to improve child health.

The College has been consulting with UNITE since April 2022 to discuss the College’s annual pay award offer for staff. Dialogue has been ongoing between the College and UNITE representatives, with information being shared openly, and the College setting out its financial position.

The College recognises the unprecedented challenges of the rise in the cost of living, particularly for staff on lower salaries. In response to this, the College provided all staff with two non-consolidated gross payments. Larger payments were provided for members of staff on lower salaries who may experience more adverse effects of cost of living increases, following a recommendation from the College’s Employee Forum, which is an information and consultation body on behalf of all staff at the College. UNITE also has a seat on that forum. The offer of non-consolidated gross payments to support staff with the cost of living was rejected by UNITE.  

For staff members on the lowest salary bands, the College has proposed a total salary increase that ranges from 8.7% to 10.6%. This includes a 3.5% salary increase and two non consolidated payments. It is this offer that has been rejected by UNITE.

The College is concerned that paediatricians and other child health professionals are facing unprecedented pressures in the NHS, so the crucial role the College plays supporting them in their training and working lives, and our advocacy to promote child health are even more essential.

The College is preparing to mitigate the impact of industrial action on its paediatric members, and to minimise the disruption for the majority of our staff, who are not UNITE members. The College wants to reach agreement with members of UNITE.