Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/516/3641
Derby nurses fight management attacks
More than 100 Unison members and their families packed a meeting to protest at threatened pay cuts to Derby nurses. The threats affect all Derby's hospitals but surgical staff are most severely hit.
Graham Lewis, Long Eaton trades council
Nurses were sent application forms to reapply for their own jobs on 7 January, returnable by the following Friday!
Non-reply would automatically reduce them by one pay band and the notice warned them of demotion by a second band if they didn't 'win' the application for their own post.
Workers at the meeting were angry that experience and qualifications taking years of study are not 'valued', as management used to claim. The management letter made it clear that people whose skills 'were not used' would not remain in post.
Many at the meeting were shocked to find newly qualified nurses would only start on band 4 instead of 5 - but still be responsible for patients. Coupled with 'unused skills' not counting towards pay bands this is a shocking disincentive to study and improve the quality of nursing.
One nurse commented: "I might as well work at Tesco". There was disbelief that management had not informed the union and anger that a 90-day consultation had been cut to 30 days and procedure disregarded for surgical staff.
Gary Freeman, a Unison branch member and a Socialist Party member got applause for calling for an injunction to stop 'threatening letters' from going ahead and industrial action if management did not halt their plans.
The vote to include this in the branch strategy was unanimous.
Firefighters and Rolls Royce engineers were in the audience so an opportunity exists to build a united campaign.
In The Socialist 17 January 2008:
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party news
Socialist Party campaigning
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party workplace news