UNISON will be organising a series of lobbies of key groups, such as councillors, MPs, health commissioners to bring pressure to bear on Southern Health to provide quality care by paying staff a living wage. Campaign resources will be available at the meeting.
UNISON will also be writing to affected members in the next week to consult them on what action they might be prepared to take to stop the cuts in pay and annual leave in the event that Southern Health does not respond to reasoned argument and pressure. It is important that as many people respond as possible.
Southern Health stewards are recommending that affected members indicate that they are prepared to take strike action as we believe we need to be no less determined to defend our terms and conditions if Southern Health remains determined to force the cuts through.
UNISON recognises the concern that members have about ensuring their clients are cared for in the event of a strike and would ensure emergency cover is provided.
Like all NHS employers Southern healthcare has contingency plans to cover staffing emergencies (as happens in extreme weather events etc), such as closing non-essential services and redeploying these staff to cover UNISON members on strike. While this causes significant disruption to the employer, clients are still looked after. In the event of any gaps UNISON would ensure emergency cover.
Oxfordshire UNISON Health branch has committed £10,000 to an industrial action fund to support staff taking action in defence of terms and conditions.
We urge all Southern Health memebrs to register their opinions and sign up to campaign activity here