The UNISON campaign against the shift change proposal in Oxford Health has resulted in management changing the proposal.  

However attempts to have the long day abandoned have been refused. Under the revised proposals there will be a cut of £800,000 in staffing across the in-patient wards as a result of the long day, increased break times, and having the night shift start earlier.

The intention to spread staff thinner by extending break periods on shorter shifts and having night staff start earlier to cut of £2.4 million off the wages bill (by needing fewer bank/agency/sessional contracts)  was not disclosed to staff in the consultation.  However as a result of union campaigning approximately 1 million of the £2.4 million will now be given back to wards in various forms:

  • increased handover times for 4 days a week on all wards to 90 mins (though staff will be expected to add the additional time to their time owing account),
  • 6 additional HCAs on 4 hr long  twilight shifts on community hospital wards, plus an additional 6 registered nurses
  • Nine additional HCA on 4 hr long  twilight shifts on specialised service wards
  • 4 additional RMN on elderly care wards on night shifts plus one additional HCA on one elderly care ward on night shift.
  • Reduction in rotation for night staff to one week in twelve.

An additional £250,000 of the £2.4 million cut will be used to create 4.5 band 8a manager posts, (3.5 of these in older adult mental health) though this was not part of UNISON's aim of avoiding cuts to front line staff.

The Trust states that the above “reinvestment” cannot take place without changes to the shifts, however it is worth bearing in mind that at bottom there is still a cut and that effectively the re-investment is actually using wages saved on one part of the day and spending it in another area. 

UNISON is seeking further changes that will allow staff to not work the long day and do not necessitate staff working a 6 day week.

There will be a meeting to discuss shift changes on Wednesday 8th August 2012, in the conference Room, level 3, Academic corridor, JRII Hospital from 6 pm.  There will also be a discussion on the employers attacks on the national terms and conditions in which they want to cut sick pay, annual leave, unsocial hours payments and introduce performance related pay.  Please make every effort to attend this meeting.