Anger as health trusts refuse to allow counter business case to be presented at board meetings

Tim Lezard

pay cartelUnions have been barred by two health trusts from presenting the business case against the South West pay cartel.

While most of the 17 remaining trusts in the cartel have allowed staff unions to present a counter argument at their board meetings, two trusts – Bath and Taunton & Somerset – have forbidden any representation, allowing instead only questions or, in the case of Bath, one question, from the floor.

Three trusts have already pulled out of the cartel which unions fear will drive down pay and conditions.

UNISON South West regional secretary Joanne Kaye said: “We have produced a robust argument against the cartel’s business case, which we naturally want to present to the remaining trusts at board meetings over the coming weeks.

“The fact that several trusts are refusing to listen to legitimate staff arguments against the cartel is frankly an insult.  The cartel trusts spent £200,000 (money that could have been spent on patient care) commissioning a business case that effectively argues that a nurse in Bristol should be paid less than a nurse in Birmingham.

“Naturally, staff want to have their say and I fail to understand why it is that most trusts are happy to listen to a comprehensive argument from their employees and other trusts are trying to shut down any form of opposition.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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