The Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) delivered a snub by pushing ahead with an ‘extortionate’ registration fee hike, despite receiving a 38,000-signature petition protesting at the 18 per cent increase.
Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union led the protests at the increase from £90 to £106 a year. On Monday 11 February, the union handed in the petition to HCPC chief executive Marc Seale calling for the rise to be scrapped.
Unite lead professional officer for regulation, Jane Beach, said: “Today the views of the 38,000 mainly health professionals who signed the petition have been ignored which is very disappointing, given the cogent arguments we put forward that NHS pay has stagnated in real terms while the cost of living has raced ahead.
“The HCPC has given a massive snub to our members’ legitimate concerns about any fee hike. We consulted widely with our members who have to register with the HCPC in order that they can work professionally – and they gave the proposed increase a resounding thumbs down. Now they have been given a financial kick in the teeth by the HCPC.”
Unite argued that the increase from October 2019 would be another financial blow to hard-pressed NHS staff, such as biomedical scientists, paramedics and speech and language therapists, who have seen the fees increase by 40 per cent since 2014.