Fighting back pays off: Thera East Midlands forced to make concessions

After very successful strike action, support workers employed by Thera East Midlands have won some important concessions.

The Socialist spoke to Unison members: “This concession follows a 24-hour strike that started on 18 April and a lively protest outside the Grantham head office of Thera Trust.

“Some employees have received letters extending discretionary pay protection by another six months. They have also been told that Thera East Midlands (TEM) will remain in the NHS pension scheme for the foreseeable future.

“This is possibly due to the employers initially not understanding the consequences of withdrawing!

“These concessions do not end the struggle for the scrapping of the draconian conditions in the Thera contract and the campaign for a wage increase from £7.59 an hour to £8 an hour for Thera contracted employees.

“On 14 May, Unison reps and regional officials from Derbyshire, Mansfield, Northamptonshire and Nottingham met to discuss the campaign to defend terms and conditions. The union has agreed to call a two-day strike which will be on 29 and 30 May.

“This was greeted positively at the TEM members’ meeting in South Derbyshire Healthcare branch on 14 May.

“Workers felt that the action has forced the pay concession but the proposed contract has to be scrapped.

“The meeting was rightly determined not to allow the employer to try to divide members who are on TUPE terms from those on Thera contracts.

“During the strike, members from the different branches will meet to discuss the dispute and strengthen our resolve.

“TEM refuses to recognise Unison but there is also a mood among members to win recognition.”