Further strike action by workers at Manchester’s mental health and social care trust has been suspended while the union takes part in talks with management at the Acas conciliation service.
The dispute was triggered by proposed cuts, which the union will decimate services to some of the most vulnerable people and see the loss of many jobs.
Management have insisted that the number of jobs available to existing employees will be reduced and that many people will have to accept work on a lower grade. Workers have also been told that they will have to reapply for those jobs in competition with their colleagues.
The north west region of the Unison union has refused to sanction any further strike action until the result of the talks is known and has made no serious effort to gather support for the strike. The region’s website does not even mention the strike, which has been the biggest in the NHS this year.
Yet according to branch secretary Karen Reissmann the mood for action among Unison members remains solid.
“About two thirds of our branch think that our strategy of strike action is working and must be continued, with one third being more cautious,” she said. You can tell how solid we are from the size of picket at the offices at Chorlton House. There were at least 150 strikers there – and that is out of 260 Unison members balloted.”
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