UP to 500 UNISON union members at Dudley Group of Hospitals in the West Midlands may vote on industrial action against the transfer of jobs to a private consortium under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Those affected will be in non - clinical jobs in the trust including caterers, cleaners and porters. Mark New, UNISON branch secretary, says, "Our members are angry and frightened at the prospect of privatisation. They fear considerable job losses, and the medium and longterm erosion of already poor pay terms and conditions." If the privatisation goes ahead the trust has indicated that at least 70 beds will be cut.
CANDY UDWIN and Dave Carr from central London's UCLH NHS trust are still waiting to hear the outcome of their UNISON leaders' threat to expel them from the union. Meanwhile, management at UCLH is going on the offensive. Dave Carr appealed last week against disciplinary charges related to his role as a UNISON rep. National UNISON leaders should be defending the union at the hospital. Instead union leaders' actions gave management the green light to go ahead with derecognising Dave as UNISON branch chair.
- The Candy and Dave Defence Campaign has produced a broadsheet, A History of Defending the NHS. Order copies from Sandy Nicoll, UNISON, SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG. Phone/fax 020 7323 1162.