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Row over royal wedding day off

A row over arrangements for paying staff who have to work on the day of the royal wedding is brewing after health workers across the country were told they will not receive any extra money.

Unison accused a number of NHS trusts of being "mean" for making staff work on 29 April without receiving any extra payment even though it has been declared a bank holiday.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the date would be a bank holiday when Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their wedding date, but the Department of Health is allowing each hospital to decide its own arrangements for time off and pay.

Unison said health staff would normally get time plus 60% and a day in lieu for bank holiday working and some hospitals are paying extra to staff who will be on duty on 29 April.

But others, including hospitals in Solihull, Birmingham, Lancashire and Norfolk, want to treat it as a normal working day, said Unison.

National officer Mike Jackson said: "It's only fair to pay nurses and hospital staff a little bit extra, for coming in and running essential services on the royal wedding day.

"It's been declared a public holiday and they will be missing out on celebrations across the country and with friends and family.

"There is not much for staff to celebrate in the NHS at the moment, with the prospect of a two-year pay freeze and job cuts looming large. It is mean-minded and demoralising of trusts to spoil this special day by refusing overtime rates.

"The decision on whether to pay or not should not be left to the whim of individual trusts."

Unison is meeting NHS Employers on 25 February for talks over royal wedding day payment rates.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"Well, our OTs, doctors, psychologists, managers, secretaries, etc were all off, but the nurses were in and told they won't get any extra bank holidays to take for the wedding. Thanks a lot, a right royal cr*p on nurses, again" - Dawn, London

"I do not normally work weekends or Bank Holidays as per my contract, however am being told it's a 'usual day', therefore I have to work! The pay is not an issue however my interpretation was that if you could normally expect to work a BH then expect to do so on normal pay but with a day off
in lieu. Not sure what to do about childcare as they're closed due to BH!!" - Kate, North-East England

"Frankly, I suspect some people would prefer not to get stuck in front of the telly all day on the wedding day - work may prove a blessed relief! Why not ask staff and/or pop names in a hat like we all used to?!" - Kathleen McGrath, London

"In response to Pat Madden's call to "get real"... I worked on the out of hours service over Xmas, including Xmas Day. I took the same calls as GPs and am expected to deliver the same outcomes ... I was paid £20 ph, the GP was paid £150 ph. Is this the kind of reality Pat is asking us to accept? Agenda for Change is disappearing under the Tory government, some of us
fought all our working lives for it and there are still places where it is not implemented - an appreciation of different realities might have been a more sensitive response" - Name and address supplied

"No, let's get real on this. Agenda for Change stipulates 8 PHs a year. We cannot agree to the parts we like and try to ignore the parts of the agreement that we don't like. Most of us have good terms and conditions of employment and should knuckle down and accept that there are radical changes being implemented in the health service and there no leeway with
regard to finances" - Pat Madden, Glasgow