Monday 15 June 2015

UNISON calls on MSPs to oppose fees increase for health and care professionals

Date: Monday 15 June 2015

UNISON is calling on MSPs to oppose new legislation which aims to substantially increase registration fees for professions registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.  

The Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee will consider this subordinate legislation (regulations) at its meeting on Tuesday, 16 June. UNISON is requesting an opportunity to give evidence to the committee to say why they oppose increased fees.

Dave Watson, UNISON Scotland head of bargaining and campaigns said:
"Staff have no choice but to pay this fee to work and at best have had a meagre 1% pay rise in accordance with the Scottish Government pay policy.

"On the other hand the Health and Care Professions Council is proposing a 12.5% rise to their professional fees. 

"This is after fees were increased by an inflation busting 5% last year, and they promised there would be no increases this year.

"MSPs must not to nod these regulations through.

"At very least they should call the health and care professions council to account and hear from unions who represent all staff concerned."

UNISON believes MSPs must oppose this legislation for the professions regulated in Scotland, but also to send a message to this UK regulator that they should have greater regard to affordability in these difficult times for health and care staff.


Notes to editors

1.    The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (Fees) Regulations 2015

2.    Professions subject to these fees include: Arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists/podiatrists, clinical scientists, dieticians, hearing aid dispensers, OTs, ODPs, orthoptists,  paramedics, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists/orthotists, radiographers, speech and language therapists

3.    UNISON Scotland’s full briefing is available here -  but the key points include:
  • The HCPC increased fees by an inflation busting 5% last year and said they wouldn’t increase them again this year.
  • They have broken that promise and now want a massive 12.5% increase following a short consultation in which respondents overwhelmingly opposed the increase.
  • Health and care staff wages in the public, private and charity sector have, at best, increased by only 1%. That is also the Scottish Government pay policy.
  • Staff don’t have a choice about paying this fee. They have to pay up to work.
  • MSPs should not just nod these regulations through. They should ask the HCPC to justify the increase and hear from the unions representing the staff concerned.

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