On Friday 3 February 2023, staff at the Care Quality Commission (“CQC”) started to vote on whether to launch industrial action over pay. The following five unions are involved:
- Royal College of Nursing
The five unions have been balloting workers who inspect, monitor and regulate hospitals, care providers, GP practices, dental surgeries, ambulance services and mental health services.
Why are CQC staff voting for Industrial Action?
The CQC’s staff are voting for industrial strike action as a result of recent pay increases which are below the rate of inflation. The five unions representing CQC staff submitted a pay claim to the CQC for an above-inflation pay rise in the summer of 2022. Since then, the cost of living has continued to increase.
In December 2022, the CQC imposed an increase in pay of between just 2.75% and 3.5% on staff, alongside a one-off payment of either £100 or £150. However, unions have said that this is not enough and that it is a major cut in salary for staff with inflation currently at 10.5%. The unions have also said that wages since 2010 have fallen by as much as one quarter in real terms.
Voting dates for the strike ballots are open for the following periods of time:
- UNISON: Thursday 26 January to Thursday 2 March 2023
- PCS: Monday 16 January to Monday 27 February 2023
- Prospect: Wednesday 1 February to Friday 24 February 2023
- Royal College of Nursing: Wednesday 8 February to Wednesday 8 March 2023
- Unite: Dates to be confirmed
What is being said?
UNISON’s National Officer Matt Egan said:
“CQC staff play a vital role keeping patients and anyone needing wider health and social care support safe. But their pay has been chipped away year after year. It’s time they got a decent pay rise, and were recognised for their work, not undervalued and undermined.”
Prospect’s Deputy General Secretary Garry Graham said:
“The regulator needs to be able to recruit and retain skilled staff to maintain high standards and safety in health and social care. That means paying a decent wage. Yet another real-terms pay cut is simply unacceptable.”