Socialist Worker

Calderstones NHS staff ballot for action, Oxford porters' strike suspended

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2463

Workers in Calderstones Hospital in Lancashire are fighting bosses’ attacks on pay, jobs and health services. 

Health bosses are using a report into services for people with learning disabilities and autism to push through the attacks. 

Written in response to Winterbourne View private hospital abuse scandal, it recommended moving such patients into community care. 

The NHS and social care crises make this impossible. 

Unison union assistant branch secretary Glen Harrison spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity. 

He said, “We were supposed to move 

85 patients out by the end of March—but that’s physically impossible. 

“We’re facing a national shortage of providers for care in the community.”

Calderstones plans to merge with Mersey Care NHS Trust and bosses have launched an attack on the hospital workers. 

Pay

In the next two years, up to 400 jobs could go and pay is already under attack.

Glenn explained, “The band 3 staff are being redeployed to band 2—a 

20 percent pay cut for some people.” 

And for night shift workers such as Glen the situation is even worse. “I’d end up losing £5,000.”

This comes on top of attacks that bosses have already pushed through. 

Glen said, “The band 4s were already downbanded to band 3 and are now being consulted again. That could be a 40 percent pay cut.” 

Workers are determined to fight back. They are being balloted in the next two weeks and expect to take action after the summer. “We will strike,” said Glen.


A two-day strike by porters at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, set for Tuesday of this week, was suspended for talks.

The Unison union members are fighting bosses’ attacks on their terms and conditions, and pay cuts of up to £54 a week. 

See Support JR Hospital Porters—Oxford on Facebook


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