Socialist Worker

Health workers round-up

Issue No. 1972

Equal pay deal won at Aintree

Workers at University Hospital Aintree in Merseyside are celebrating a pay deal that secures equal pay for all staff.

The deal should end “two tier” working at the hospital — the practice of employing in-house and contracted out staff on different wages. The deal was won following three solid and lively one-day strikes in June.

Members of the GMB, T&G and Unison unions believe their action forced private contractor Initial Hospital Services to negotiate on wages.

Unions backing health campaign

Feelings at the recent Unison south east regional health committee ran very high against the government’s NHS policies.

People felt that the future of the NHS is at risk. I said I wanted the NHS to be around in 20 years time to look after me, and I got a round of applause.

We sent a motion to Unison’s health service group executive calling for a national demonstration and campaigning material paid for by the union.

Another motion put forward said that the first compulsory redundancy should trigger a call for industrial action.

My branch is fully behind the Keep Our NHS Public campaign.

Even managers believe the NHS will face financial problems as more complex and less lucrative procedures are dumped on them.

Bobby Noyes, chair of Southampton Unison health branch

Cambridge ward closure threat

NHS workers in Cambridge are launching a campaign against cuts to mental health services.

The mental health trust wants to make £4 million of cuts in the Cambridge and Peterborough areas, which could see 120 full time positions lost.

Proposals include the closure of two wards. Health workers and members of the public were planning to attend a series of planned consultation meetings to protest against the cuts.

Nurses’ leader speaks out

Beverly Malone, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, has warned that 1,000 nursing posts could go as NHS trusts struggle to claw back a £1.6 billion cash shortfall.

“Valuable, highly experienced staff could be lost and we simply cannot afford to let this happen,” she said.

NHS trusts in south London and Portsmouth have already announced recruitment freezes. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is considering scrapping 200 nursing posts.

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Sat 15 Oct 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1972
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