Instead of wasting money creating Uber for the NHS, why doesn’t the health secretary give all NHS staff the pay rise they desperately need?
GMB, the union for public sector workers, says a new healthcare workforce app unveiled by Jeremy Hunt will bring the gig economy to the NHS.
In a speech to the Conservative Party Conference today, the Health Secretary announced plans to introduce an app-based work system to 12 NHS trusts.
Jeremy Hunt said:“They [nurses] need to be able to work flexibly, do extra hours at short notice, get paid more quickly when they do and make their own choices on pension contributions.
“So today I’m also announcing that new flexible working arrangements will be offered to all NHS employees during this parliament.
“And we’ll start next year with 12 trusts piloting a new app-based flexible working offer to their staff.”
Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said: “As if NHS staff don’t have enough on their plate with real terms pay cuts, stress on the job and ever-increasing workloads – now Jeremy Hunt wants to force them into the gig economy as well.
“Public sector workers are already putting in £11 billion worth of unpaid overtime every year and many of our NHS members already take on bank work to make ends meet.
“The idea that there is some untapped reserve of labour in the NHS that can be unlocked with an app is pure fantasy.
“Having our overworked, underpaid NHS staff being told via an app they are not needed at the last minute is a terrible idea and the start of a slippery slope.
“You only have to look at this model in health and social care where zero hours contracts and 15 minute slots to look after the elderly have left the system on the brink of collapse.
“Instead of wasting money creating Uber for the NHS, why doesn’t the health secretary give all NHS staff the pay rise they desperately need?”