UK Towns and cities keywords:
Ballot victory against social enterprise
Health workers in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland Community Services (MRCCS) have voted for a second time to keep services within the NHS, as opposed to transferring to a "social enterprise".
700 of the 1,000 staff in MRCCS voted in the ballot. Over 500 (66%) voted in favour of staying within the NHS. The two proposed options to manage these services were to create a social enterprise outside of the NHS, or be managed by a local Foundation Trust.
By April next year, all community health care services across the country have to be managed outside of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) which are to be abolished. A previous ballot was less conclusive but also against social enterprise. The results were not to management's liking so a further ballot was called.
The option of social enterprise was recognised as a threat to NHS terms and conditions and a move towards the privatisation of health care. Locally Unison had campaigned against the social enterprise model and welcomed the result.
The MRCCS board will now make recommendations to local NHS providers to host community services. This also needs to be approved by the Regional Strategic Health Authority.
These workers have faced several changes of employer over the past few years under New Labour's 'reforms', which included social enterprises and cooperatives, which in reality were an opportunity for management buy-outs and the extension of the market into the NHS.
This result shows the loyalty of workers to the principles of the NHS and a determination to resist attacks on their terms and conditions. Unison's leadership should take note and build on such campaigns.
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 0798 202 1969
East Mids: 0773 797 8057
London: 020 8988 8786
North East: 0191 421 6230
North West 07769 611 320
South East: 020 8988 8777
South West: 07759 796 478
Southern: 07833 681910
Wales: 07935 391 947
West Mids: 02476 555 620
Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551