Assistant ward managers, staff nurses, health care assistants and occupational therapists in Birmingham stand to lose more than £1,000


Health workers in Birmingham are today on strike over plans to slash hundreds of pounds from their pay.

Assistant ward managers, staff nurses, health care assistants and occupational therapists, members of Unite and Unison employed by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust will join picket lines at Reaside Clinic and Ardenleigh from 8am to 11.30am.

They stand to lose, on average, £1,400 a year as the coalition’s stealth cuts to pay, pensions and terms and conditions threaten to drive hundreds of thousands of skilled workers from the NHS.

Unite believes that the coalition’s unrelenting attack on NHS workers which includes a two year long pay freeze, changes to pensions, and the erosion of pay, terms and conditions, is part of plans for the outright privatisation of the 64 year old health service

Unite regional officer Owen Granfield said: “The removal of the RRP is another bitter blow to this embattled workforce who have endured a two year long pay freeze, attacks to their pensions and the steady erosion of working terms and conditions.

“The recruitment and retention prima (RRP) paid to staff working in regional secure units recognises the additional pressures that they face. To remove it without the normal protection is simply unfair.

“Unite is committed to meaningful negotiation and has offered a two year phasing down of the payment in line with what other workers such as estate workers have agreed to, but the trust has not budged.

“The refusal of the trust’s management’s to engage with Acas to resolve this dispute is shocking and shows a blatant disregard for the workforce.

“It has left our members with no option but to take action against this hardline stance. It is not what they want but it can’t be ignored. Patient safety remains their number one priority so there will be cover in place to avoid inconveniencing the patients.”

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