A serious situation has arisen for our 400 members in Southern Health Foundation Trust.

Your new employers have set up a low cost operation called TQ21 which aims to provide cut price learning disability support services for local people. To deliver this cheap service they propose to slash wages for frontline band 2 and band 3 workers. You and your colleagues are set to lose up to £400 a month. Already members have told us that this is such a large amount that they fear they won’t be able to pay their rent and mortgages and worry they and their families will become homeless.

 

In addition to this the employers propose cutting annual leave to little more than than the legal minimum and they insist staff should pay for their own professional development / training. As our union negotiators told management this appears to be a race to the bottom – where will it end up? Everyone on the minimum wage with minimum rights and training delivering the cheapest possible a low quality service to vulnerable patients and clients?

These pay cuts are not taking place in other parts of Southern Health or in other NHS Trusts. They are just targetted at band 2 & 3 staff in TQ21.

Our union negotiators have told management firmly that this is not an option. We will NOT negotiate away your pay and conditions but management say that they need this cut price operation to win contracts. As a union we believe that management should continue to pay all staff NHS wages and conditions. We also believe that the councils who buy these services from Southern Health need to be persuaded to continue paying for a quality service. As it happens council elections are taking place at the moment – if councillors want our votes and those of our clients, families and friends they need to listen to our concerns. We want you, your colleagues, and community to get involved in protests and lobbies to pressure councils to ‘cough up’.

There is an old saying “what comes around – goes around”. Even if you are not directly affected by this round of cuts to pay and conditions you will be the next target in this race to the bottom. Whether we are band 2 and 3 or 4 and 5 we have a particular responsibility to support colleagues. Union members who look the other way in the face of such pay cuts (because they are not directly hurt themselves) will inherit a weakened union – and we all need a strong union to defend us in our working lives.

Union stewards in local NHS trusts have spoken out in support of Southern Health staff and have set aside over £10,000 in an industrial action hardship fund for support should you need to take industrial action.

The Oxford and District Trades Union Council has spoken up for Southern Health staff as has the campaign organisation ‘Keep our NHS Public’. Your union reps have approached MPs and councillors for support and Andrew Smith MP has asked for a meeting with unin reps and activists. The issue will be raised in local council chambers and in the media.

But above all we need your suport and involvement – we need you to help in taking this campaign into the community we need your help in organising and recruiting into the union because the stronger we are the better settlement we can negotiate. Please talk to your colleagues, talk to your steward and if you don’t have one put your name forward as a union contact or steward in your workplace.

Can we win? A few years ago a local NHS Trust closed Oxford City Community Hospital. Following a strong campaign from union members, the community, councillors and a local MP we got the hospital re-opened and our members won their jobs back. We can win if we campaign. We will lose if we do nothing.

Our first major event is a public meeting at Oxford townhall at 7.30pm on the 9th April. Your union reps have organised this. Please come along and bring work colleagues friends and family.

Regards, Mark Ladbrooke

Branch Secretary.

Please contact your Convenors and stewards (see below) to get more involved in this campaign and a big thank you from the union branch to these dedicated and hardworking union reps.

James Morbin                This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                       07977422361              SC Oxford

Anita Harvey                 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                    07919027180              SC Bicester

David Bennett               This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                             07767124156              SC Oxford

Mike Odonnell               This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                            07551999451              SH Slade

Agnes Abogunrin           This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                         07828069215              SC Chalgrove

Bill Crawford                This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.            07597669000              SH Evenlode   

Tracy Downey               This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                           07912158633              SH                   

John Fitzsimons             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                      07588425083              SH Wycombe  

Uzo Isama                    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                   07916280860              Student Oxford

Jonothan Wasik             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                              7564322367              SC Banbury     

Steve Williams              This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                             07974102979              SC Banbury

Anthony Zadrozny       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                    07593603195              SC Oxford