Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2057

Redundancies at Blood Centres across Britain

Trade unionists were angry this week as Blood Centres across the country served notices of compulsory redundancies. One of those affected is Sandra Crowley, a longstanding Unison steward from the Blood Centre in Liverpool.

NHS bosses want to merge 11 blood centres into just three, with the loss of hundreds of jobs. It is essential that health unions move quickly towards a strategy that involves industrial action if the plan is to be defeated.

Private clinics serving NHS patients poor value say doctors

Doctors have called on the government to stop its programme of Independent Sector Treatment Centres (ISTC) – private clinics that are assigned to see NHS patients – saying that they offer poor value for money and are unaccountable to local doctors.

Speaking at a conference of local medical committees last week, Marcus Bicknell from Nottinghamshire said many ISTCs were working well under capacity and cherry-picking the easiest cases. This leaves NHS consultants to perform the most high risk and high cost procedures.

JCB workers don’t dig pay scheme

Some 1,200 JCB workers at the Staffordshire and Wrexham sites are voting on whether to strike over new pay methods.

GMB union members have rejected a proposed switch from weekly to monthly pay.

Most members have rejected the firm’s proposal of interest-free loans to help them in the transition, the union said.

New moves in Unique dispute

The sacked women from Unique Care in Huddersfield had a mixed time last week in their fight for reinstatement.

The first of five employment tribunals found in favour of the employer. However, when the women attended the Unison union conference and organised a fringe meeting, they were overwhelmed by the level of support they received.

The women were also encouraged by the fact that Kirklees council says it is doing new investigations into the firm after an independent report made criticisms.

Send messages of support and donations to Kirklees Unison, 20 Queen Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2SP

BT workers vote against offer

Members of the Connect union, which represents managerial and professional grades, have turned down a pay offer from BT and are moving towards a strike ballot.

The pay deal was rejected by 92 percent in an 82 percent turnout. Workers will start a strike vote unless there are further concessions.

The offer sees 20 percent of members getting nothing and nearly all the rest getting less than inflation.

Tom Machell, Connect BT committee (personal capacity)

Strong support for DCH campaign

Haringey Defend Council Housing’s summer campaign went down a storm at the Tottenham carnival in north London last Saturday.

A wide range of stalls carried our leaflets and they were enthusiastically grasped by people attending the event.

Paul Burnham

Haringey Defend Council Housing public meeting with Frank Dobson MP, Friday 13 July, 7pm, Wood Green Library, High Road, N22

Wages battle is on school’s menu

Kitchen staff at Haggerston School in Hackney, east London, were set to strike on Wednesday of this week over pay.

The staff are members of the new Unite union (formed from the T&G and Amicus unions) and are employed by contractors Sodexho.

They are paid nearly £4 an hour less than similar staff at the school.

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Article information

Tue 26 Jun 2007, 18:38 BST
Issue No. 2057
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