Health pay demo outside Barnstaple hospital
19:08 26 November 2012
Union members continue to lobby health bosses over controversial proposals for regional health pay and conditions.
WORKERS and union members once again be demonstrated outside Barnstaple hospital today (Tuesday) to call on health bosses to leave a controversial regional pay consortium.
Unison says it was lobbying against what it says will be unfair cuts prior to Northern Devon Healthcare Trust 10am board meeting.
Members then presented a petition to board members calling on the trust to withdraw from the South West Consortium of 19 trusts, which is looking at imposing changes on local health workers’ pay and conditions.
The petition contains more than 2,000 signatures from staff across North and East Devon.
Drivers are being asked to sound their horns in support of health workers as they pass the demonstration between 7-10am tomorrow.
The pressure appears to be on other trusts in the consortium – what Unison is calling a ‘pay cartel’ – to consider their options after the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Health Trust pulled out of the process.
It had originally been thought the Northern Devon board would consider the issue today, but the trust said the item was not on the agenda or tabled for discussion.
“With Bournemouth pulling out and Gloucestershire thinking about it, we are hoping there will be more pressure on North Devon to do the same,” said Unison spokesperson Sarah Woodward.
North Devon Unison branch secretary Mark Harper added: “Union members are determined to keep fighting the Trust’s decision to be in the pay cartel. Attacking staff terms and conditions is a false economy. Patient care is the priority for staff and they deserve to be paid the same as the rest of the uk because they are equally well trained and committed.”
A SWC spokesman said: “The consortium steering group is on track to complete its work to develop a full business case in this calendar year, before it is considered by the board of each member trust in early 2013.”
* Tomorrow evening (Wednesday) Andy Robinson, NDHT director of finance and performance and Kate Lyons, director of operations, will be presenting a report to North Devon Council. They will be joined by representatives from the Northern Locality of Northern Eastern and Western Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Previously, the trust has said it needs to make savings of £60 million in five years and is currently looking at its sites and how it operates to consider ways to achieve this.
The trust said the report tonight may cover developments at NDDH and in community services, plus projects enabling patients to benefit from care closer to home, as well as an update on the bid for foundation trust status.