Health union boss says meeting with Steve Barclay was ‘an insult’ as negotiations ‘go backwards’


egotiations between the Government and health unions have “gone backwards” after crisis talks on Monday afternoon, a union chief has said.

Unite negotiator Onay Kasab said the Government told the union they would need to “justify” a payment through productivity, branding the talks an “insult”.

Asked outside the Department of Health and Social Care after a meeting with Steve Barclay whether there had been mention of a one-off payment, he said: “No, no, all the Government are interested in is saying that in order to justify a payment we need to … come up with productivity in the NHS.

“That is absolutely ludicrous. This isn’t a factory we’re talking about, we’re talking about people who are working well beyond their contracted hours anyway just to get the job done because … they care so much.

“So, for the Government to be talking about productivity in exchange for a (payment) is an insult to every single one of our members.”

Mr Kasab said it was unclear whether discussion of a payment for this financial year was on the table.

He added: “It is absolutely clear is that they want our members to give more in order for it to consider a payment. That is absolutely outrageous.”

Strike action pencilled in for Wednesday will “absolutely” go ahead as a result, he said.

More to follow…

Evening Standard News