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Unions call on hospital staff to protest over contract changes at North-East trust
WORKERS at a health trust are being encouraged to join a rally challenging a health trust’s proposals to dismiss 5,452 staff and re-employ them on new contracts.
The joint health unions at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust plan to lobby board members before their meeting next week.
Bosses at the trust have sent out forms known as HR1s, which are a legal requirement when employers are proposing to dismiss 20 or more employees within a period of 90 days.
The trust, which runs the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, and the University Hospital of Hartlepool, is trying to make £40m in savings.
However, union chiefs believe changes will result in staff having inferior contracts forced upon them.
In a letter sent out to all staff affected by the proposal, Glenn Turp, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) regional director, wrote: “The RCN believes that the move, which abolishes unsocial hours payments for sick leave, is fundamentally wrong because it means that staff who work for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will be on inferior terms to staff who work at other trusts around the region.
“The move appears designed to undermine current national negotiations which are already taking place between the Government and unions.”
The trust has started a 90 day consultation process with guarantees of no job losses.
The consultation with staff is over proposals to pay staff a standard rate if they are off sick during unsocial hours.
Currently, staff who are off sick during unsocial hours receive extra payments on top of their regular pay.
The idea of scrapping enhanced payments was originally suggested by staff as a way of saving the trust money.