Union lobbies each of the 20 trusts in the South West to let them know strength of opposition to regional pay


UNISON members in the South West are lobbying the board meetings of each of the region’s twenty trusts in a bid to persuade them to withdraw from the pay cartel threatening to cut pay and conditions of health workers.

The union is angry at proposals which may lead to 15% pay cuts, on the back of years of pay freezes and rising workloads.  They are demanding that Trusts involved put their frequently stated commitment to patients and their staff into action by leaving the cartel immediately.

Most of the Pay Cartel Trusts, termed a Pay and Conditions Consortium by the Trusts involved, have board meetings and AGMs scheduled throughout September and October.

UNISON South West regional secretary Joanne Kaye said: “Our members are lobbying these Trust Boards now because the future of the NHS in the South West is in their hands.  We need to ensure that Trust Boards members are aware of the risks they are taking with the health service.

“The members who make up each Trust Board are charged with upholding the integrity of the NHS and ensuring the best possible patient care.  Cutting pay, destroying morale, and forcing nurses, midwives, doctors and other healthcare workers to leave the area or find other jobs will harm patient care and undermine the Trust’s performance in every way.  Ultimately every one of us, whether we work in the NHS, have children or relatives who need the NHS, or whether we are patients ourselves, will lose.

“NHS workers make the NHS the national treasure it is.  We know that many Trusts have only joined this Cartel because they are worried about the opinion of their counterparts in other Trusts.  They will make the ultimate decision at individual Trust level and they shouldn’t let themselves be bullied by a few hardliners.

“UNISON is asking each and every Board Member to forget about what other Trust Boards will think.  We are asking them to recognise the true value of their staff and the services they provide.  We are asking them to remember that their duty is to their local people, communities and businesses by voting to pull out of the Cartel immediately.

“National negotiations are at a critical stage.  The Cartel are undermining these negotiations and moving too quickly, trying to force the next round of Trust Boards meetings into make rushed ill-informed decisions that will bring regional pay to the region.

“Our members are prepared to fight the Cartel to safeguard their future and the future of the NHS.  There are a massive 20 lobbies of AGMs and Trust Board meetings taking place next week, and this lobbying action is part of a wider UNISON campaign against the cartel which includes a national petition, individual petitions, meeting MPs individually and parliamentary meetings.

“UNISON’s campaign is gaining support all the time and recent reports have provided clear evidence that introducing regional pay is wasteful and time consuming – which is why most national, multi-site companies in the private sector do not use it, preferring national pay structures with additions for London and the South East.”


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