Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/452/5406
Strike ballot begins
ON 21 August, UNISON issued ballot papers to over 750 members across the five NHS Logistics (NHSL) depots at Alfreton, Bury St Edmunds, Maidstone, Normanton and Runcorn. The ballot will close on 11 September.
Brian Loader, NHSL National Staff Side Secretary, personal capacity
All five NHSL branches are campaigning hard to ensure a massive "Yes" vote in this battle against 'outsourcing' to DHL/Novation. At Alfreton's Festival in the Park on 3 September, the ballot will be the central activity on the East Midlands UNISON stall, campaigning on the wider issue of NHS job cuts across Derbyshire.
UNISON are calling for the PCS and TGWU to organise a similar ballot for their members in NHSL and PaSA ( NHS Purchasing Body) who are affected by this privatisation.
The NHSL branch secretaries have discussed possible planned action for September. They are sending a delegation to the TUC Conference on 10 September. And at least one of the possible strike days will fall in the week of the Labour Party conference, to ensure the maximum publicity. At the time of writing, the Department of Health (DOH) have yet to make their final decision on outsourcing, so all the branches are aware of the need to act quickly once the ballot has been counted.
The publicity around Novation's procurement activities in the US health system, such as the $420 million anti-trust judgement in a Los Angeles federal court and a similar case lodged by a Missouri company for $1.5 billion, have caused embarrassment to the DOH and DHL.
The 'savings' from using Novation are becoming a distant vision, in fact the DOH will not release details of any of these. Nor will they say where the 'savings' and the sale of NHSL buildings and assets valued at £32 million will be spent to benefit NHS front-line services.
UNISON East Midlands region are following the South-East region in making a donation to the hardship fund and asking all UNISON branches to follow suit.
- Donations to: UNISON - NHS Logistics Dispute, c/o Sotirios Loizou, UNISON, Mabledon Place, London. WC1H 9AJ. Cheques should be made payable to : UNISON - NHS Logistics Dispute.
In The Socialist 24 August 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news