I’ve heard rumblings that the pay award for NHS physiotherapists will be set over 3 years and below 3% for this time. I cannot understand why the health unions are so willing to accept anything that seems to be offerered. I’m bothered by the fact that 3 years seems a long time in financial terms and there’s a lot of chance for fuel and housing prices to go up by large amounts when many NHS workers will be in effect on fixed incomes. The proposals I saw (or were they the final agreement?) said that there had been some negotiations about reducing working hours, somewhat ironic since Agenda for Change has only just increased them. I don’t know how the negotiators or government expect us all to react at the prospect that in real terms we will be accepting a pay cut as we see our income reduced by above inflation rises in council tax, utility bills and energy costs. We still have to live with the concept that inflationremains less than 5%, something which increasingly seems like an figment of the politicians’ imagination. The reality is that those things on which we spend the biggest amount of our incomes go up by amounts much larger than so called inflation. Result? The negotiated impovement in NHS salaries acheved by Agenda for Change will over the coming years be clawed back though setting wage settlements below the rate of inflation.