No pay cuts at Thera!

A Thera employee

On 16 February, members of South Derbyshire Unison healthcare branch held a day of action in support of their members in Thera East Midlands, who are facing massive attacks. The workers support people who have learning difficulties and challenging behaviours.

Derbyshire Thera employees and their partners gave out leaflets to the public and encouraged them to sign petitions of support. Trade unionists from Derby and Nottingham turned out in support including, Jean Thorpe, a Unison national executive member.

The Thera workers were protesting against the introduction of a draconian contract. This would cut the pay of those transferred from the NHS by over £300 a month. Workers already on a Thera contract have not had a pay rise for over four years so we are fighting for a pay rise for them.

In 2010-11 Thera made a surplus of £2.1 million. In the same year all staff got a memo saying there would be no pay rises in the organisation. Yet in those years the executive directors’ remuneration went up! Four of them were already on over £100,000 a year.

In 2011 Thera East Midlands did a restructure which meant a section of employees, mainly nurses, had wage cuts between £10,000 to £20,000. Now Thera are coming for the support workers.

This time we are preparing for industrial action. We hope soon to move to an official ballot. We have already had a high vote for action in the consultative ballot.

The day of action was a success. It was on Radio Derby every hour. Support workers came away more determined and confident and are now eager to cast their vote for action.

We thank all trade unionists and members of the Socialist Party and their paper for their support.