To the Agenda For Change. For those of you who haven't heard my tirade, Agenda for Change was something the last government came up with, to equalise hours and working practices across the NHS. The out of hours system they came up with -actually, I don't think they ever did come up with something workable. But the changes they did come up with have affected me ( and my colleagues).
This all started 5 years ago, and from a pay point of view, it was good for me. Our trust had a local agreement, with one rate of pay for newly qualified sonographers, another for experienced, and a third teir for those who did specialist scans or put drains in. AfC did away with all that, so that as long as I kept working, I worked up the pay band. Now I'm at the top of my band, with no financial incentive to do further training, and incidentally on the same pay point as my colleagues who do put drains in or do specialist scans.
They've been on pay protection for the last 5 years, so no pay rise now is no different for them.
Why am I grumbling about this now?
Well, today I start having to work 10 minutes later to maintain my pay. Last time this happened I was returning from maternity leave,so it wasn't quite as obvious. But from today I'm working longer days.
So, on top of a pay freeze for my colleagues for the last 5 years, they've also had to increase their working week- we were all originally working a 35 hour week, and working up to 37.5hrs. Of course, for other folk in the NHS this has been an improvement for them, as their working week was previously much longer- but I'm not talking about them!
So, its advent calendar time ( which I have still to get out of the Christmas box and put something in the pockets!) and I'm working longer days. I just wish we could win the lottery!