Solidarity evening

A solidarity evening was held at the British Legion in Boscombe on Friday 28th September with food and a background ambience of soul and ska.

Guest speakers included Gareth Drinkwater (Unison) who gave an update about the SW NHS Pay Cartel and spoke about the leaked document which clearly showed their intentions were to reduce the Trusts’ wage bill from 68% of their overall budget to 60%. Click here more info about the cartel’s proposals.

James Meadway (Coalition of Resistance) explained how the govt’s programme of austerity and their refusal to move away from these policies was sending the country spiralling downwards into a deeper, longer recession akin to the 1930s. James also pointed out the great myth that is constantly peddled that the Public Sector is somehow responsible for the economic crisis. The fact is, public spending prior to 2008 by the previous Labour govt was 39% of GDP, under Major’s tory govt from 1991-97 is what 40% and during the Thatcher years of 1979-91 it was 41%. So the reality is, public sector govt spending was at it’s lowest for nearly 2 decades. This all changed following the collapse of Lehmans in the States, the domino effect it created to banks worldwide and the subsequent bail-outs that followed; including the £1.3 trillion bail-out by our govt to rescue UK banks. He also stressed the importance of everyone opposed to austerity to attend the mass demonstration in London on Oct 20th.

Neil Duncan-Jordan (Chair – BCP Trades Council) stated that, so far, the country has only seen a small chunk of the cuts and seemed oblivious to the fact that a further 80% was still to be implemented. So however bad it seems at the moment, things will only get much, much worse.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How did we get here – New Economics Foundation

The UK has slid back into double-dip recession and Eurozone unemployment has hit new highs. Uncertainty stalks China, Brazil and other rising economies. We may be heading for a global recession.

Politicians call for austerity and little else. But spending cuts are economically illiterate. They wreck weak economies by locking them into a cycle explained by John Maynard Keynes over 80 years ago:

  • Cuts mean job losses and falling demand for goods and services.
  • Falling demand means firms sell less.
  • Firms selling cause wages to fall and unemployment to rise even more.
  • Demand for goods and services falls further.
  • Then, as demand collapses and economies shrink, debts become unpayable.

Breaking this vicious circle is the first step towards recovery. But we can’t return to the old world of chronic dependence on carbon and debt. Click here to view a short guide to how the crisis broke, and some ideas on how to get out of it.

Lobby Against South West NHS Pay Cartel

Download flyer: PDF JPG

Please support a lobby of Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust against the South West NHS Pay Cartel on Thursday 6th September at 3.30pm during their AGM.

NHS Trusts across the South West have joined together and contributed an opening ante of £10,000 for a ‘war chest’ to attack national bargaining and introduce regional pay. The once ‘secret’ proposals make it clear that each Trust wants to reduce their pay bill from 68% to 60% which has the net effect of reducing individual earnings by up to 15%.

It is no coincidence that this is happening in the South West as general union membership density is low with many unorganised workplaces. If we allow this to happen in the South West it will happen everywhere else! We are posing great resistance towards the Cartel and it’s proposals which threaten to undermine the current national negotiations and we are looking to extend our campaign.

Please feel free to circulate this event to any other relevant groups who could lend their support to prevent the dismantling of the NHS and collective bargaining.

Sign this petition to say NO WAY to Postcode Pay!

UNISON demo outside Poole Hospital

Several hundred delegates from the UNISON conference being held at the BIC in Bournemouth attended a lunchtime flash demo, on June 21st, outside Poole General Hospital in protest against the South West Pay NHS Cartel.

Sixteen NHS trusts in the South West have banded together in a bid to make “radical” changes to staff pay, terms and conditions outside of the national Agenda for Change agreement. Each trust paid £10,000 to join this cartel.

The consortium of trusts is considering a suite of proposals to reduce workforce costs by 8 per cent across the region.

A leaked document drawn up by this consortium reveals that, if a deal cannot be reached, trusts may consider dismissing staff and rehiring them on the new terms in order to force through the changes.

Plans include changes to working hours, annual leave entitlements and pay. The consortium also intends to look at “attractive, performance-driven approaches” to pay and conditions.

Poole NHS trust is a “key player” in setting up the cartel as its chief executive, Chris Bown, is chair of its steering group.

Unison say the plans will “damage patient care and drive down pay”, and threatens the future of on-going national negotiations between unions and government representatives on changes to Agenda for Change.

Unison South West state: “We believe the cartel’s approach is simply a cost cutting exercise which will affect the quality of services.”

“The consequences for the region will be disastrous; skilled health workers will be driven out of the region, taking money out of the local economy, deepening the healthcare postcode lottery.”

Unison head of health Christina McAnea, said: “The setting up of this pay cartel is a crude attempt to drive down wages, which in turn will damage the quality of patient care in all 16 trusts.

“The cartel will lead to shortages of key staff who will vote with their feet and move to hospitals where the pay is better and patients will be the ones who suffer.”

She added: “Cutting wages of hospital workers will also have a knock-on effect on already depressed economies in the South West. Health workers are already suffering from a two year pay freeze and this further assault on their pay and conditions will hit morale as well as their spending power.”

“We do not want rogue employers threatening to undermine the stability of national pay bargaining and Agenda for Change. It is not too late for those 16 trusts to do the right thing by their patients and staff and drop this damaging and divisive plan.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sources: UNISONHealth Sources Journal Nursing TimesRCN

If you have any pictures you would like added to the slideshow, please email them to us at info@bpacc.co.uk