I wrote earlier today about the continuing assault by North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Trust on the pay and conditions of its staff. As reported in the local newspaper, the Evening Gazette and on this excellent blog by Mark Blackwood, South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust is now considering similar moves, saying:
“We are aware of the approach being taken by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and the consultation they have commenced on the proposed variations to terms and conditions for their staff..in the absence of any national outcome trusts may need to explore some of these flexibilities locally as North Tees is doing.”
The South Tees Trust employs around 9,000 people likely to be affected by the kind of changes that North Tees & Hartlepool is trying to force through. North Tees & Hartlepool has over 5,000 affected employees. The actions of the South West Pay Terms and Conditions ‘Consortium’ are wanton and immoral, and affect some 63,000 people across 20 Trusts. In more densely-populated Teesside, a ‘cartel’ of just two Trusts, if allowed to form, will affect over 14,000 people.
And the measures under discussion at North Tees, and now being considered at South Tees, are just the tip of the blade. As North Tees has admitted, the measures it claims staff should accept in order to safeguard their jobs will not safeguard their jobs.
440 jobs are to be cut as the Trust’s two hospitals are merged into one new hospital (which will be smaller than the original one planned and aimed at care for private and non-local patients, so that provision for local people will be drastically cut). On top of this cut, the Trust hopes that the ‘efficiencies’ achieved by its bullied-through measures will allow further reductions. Staff and patients will be massively and adversely affected.
If South Tees pushes ahead with similar measures, the same consequences will be inevitable. Fewer staff, less availability for NHS patients, and an enormous blow to a local economy which is already under huge attack by this government, who knows that we won’t vote for it anyway so it has nothing to lose by cutting more on Teesside than in places where its supporters live.
No matter where you live, it’s not only the right thing to do but in your own interests to fight these measures. Whether you’re local to them or not, please write to both hospitals at the email addresses below and tell them that it’s unacceptable to continue with the measures that they’ve either started or are considering, and that the duty of the Trusts’ executives is not to act as the government’s hatchet-men (or women) in its ideological assault on the NHS and on the local area – but rather to work with staff and unions to fight the cuts and to fight for a maintained and improved health provision for the people they’re meant to be serving.
North Tees: firstname.lastname@example.org
South Tees: email@example.com