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Bristol health workers protest, as cracks appear in so...

Bristol health workers protest, as cracks appear in south west pay cut plans

29 November 2012

NHS workers in Bristol will demonstrate this Saturday (1 December) against proposals to introduce local pay deals in the south west, as cracks begin to appear in the plans.

Hundreds of health workers are expected at the rally to protest against the plans of the South West Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium, as health minister Dr Dan Poulter branded the cartel’s approach as “heavy-handed”.

The consortium’s plans also suffered a further blow with the withdrawal of the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust from the cartel which wants to tear up the long-established national Agenda for Change agreement and replace it with local pay deals with inferior pay, and terms and conditions.

The health workers will assemble at College Green at 11.00am on Saturday 1 December and then march through Bristol for a rally at Castle Park at 12.30pm. The consortium covers the entire south west of England.

Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “The message is getting through that introducing local pay deals is a race to the bottom for staff and services and will eventually lead to the fragmentation of services for patients.

“Dr Poulter’s reported remarks that the cartel’s approach is heavy-handed is to be welcomed and the trust bosses in the south west should take serious note of the minister’s comments.

“We are urging all NHS staff and members of the public in Bristol to go on the march and to the rally on Saturday. Public opinion is important and is now beginning to have a positive effect in combating the cartel’s flawed scheme.”

Unite, which has a 100,000 members in the health service, is currently canvassing its NHS members for their views on the NHS Employers’ plans to dilute the terms of Agenda for Change. The union is recommending rejection of the employers’ proposals. The Unite consultation closes on 17 December.

ENDS

For further information, please contact Karen Cole, Unite regional health and equalities organiser, on 07740 913900 and/or Unite communications officer, Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.