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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 August 2007

NGH hospital Sheffield: Pay cuts "the thin end of the wedge"

TO USE New Labour Health Secretary Alan Johnson's own words, staff working in bulk stores at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital are definitely "not happy bunnies". Not when they face imposed pay cuts of up to 3,000 or 4,000 a year, due to the Trust withdrawing long-established bonuses and allowances.

Alistair Tice

That is why the 15 bulk stores staff, UNISON members, voted for strike action which began with a one-day strike on 20 August.

Gary Sellars, who has worked in bulk stores for 20 years, told the socialist: "The performance-related bonus and attendance allowance makes up a fifth of my wage. It's equal to my mortgage payment. Last year, the Trust put up staff car parking charges which for us low-paid took up all our pay rise. Now this is a pay cut of 20%, it's like no pay rise for the next ten years.

"There's a sign up in the hospital saying '125 years - from Workhouse to Foundation hospital'. It seems like they're trying to take us back there in ten years!

"The Trust says it's got to have value for money. Then Mr Cash, the chief executive, should take a 20% pay cut, that would be 30 - 35K. The Trust says they need to save 90 million over three years - they're not going to get it from 15 stores staff are they?

"No, this is the thin end of the wedge. If they get away with cutting our pay then bigger departments will face pay cuts next."

That's why around 50 NGH UNISON members joined the picket line for a dinner-time solidarity rally. If the Trust bosses don't budge, three more strikes are planned.

  • Please send messages of support/ donations to: UNISON NGH, UNISON office, Vickers Corridor, Northern General Hospital, Herries Road, Sheffield S5 7AU, or email UNISON branch secretary john.campbell@sth.nhs.uk
  • Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


    In The Socialist 24 August 2007:

    Stop climate change

    Heathrow expansion protests

    Thousands march in Tewkesbury


    Socialist Party Marxist analysis

    Social class in Britain today


    Socialist Party review

    The War on Democracy


    Workplace news

    Glasgow council workers' victory: United strike action wins

    Postal dispute: If talks don't deliver - escalate the action

    TUC conference fringe meeting

    Belfast airport workers' victory


    Socialist Party editorial

    World economy fundamentally unsound


    Socialist Party NHS campaign

    NGH hospital Sheffield: Pay cuts "the thin end of the wedge"


    Socialist Party news

    Boris Johnson - buffoon or bonus for Tories?

    Potty about Potter


     

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